No First Amendment Here: French Court Finds Me Guilty in Al-Dura Affair
by Philippe Karsenty
I’ll have to pay the 7,000 euros.
On June 26, the Paris Court of Appeals found me guilty of defamation against television station France 2 and broadcaster Charles Enderlin.
After waiting one long week following the verdict, I was finally able to get the written arguments of the judges. The arguments state that — despite the hoax eventually becoming obvious to all who looked at the case — I was found guilty for having said that the al-Dura news report was a hoax … too early, in November 2004.
Had I published that exact same article today now that the facts are clear, I would not have been found guilty. Interestingly, the Court of Appeals did not ask me to remove the original article from my website. (You can still read it here: “France 2 : Arlette Chabot et Charles Enderlin doivent être démis de leurs fonctions immédiatement.“)
Though technically a legal defeat, the decision is a step forward for my ultimate goal of having the truth revealed about the al-Dura hoax. I fully agree with French author Michel Onfray: “The judges apply the law, they don’t tell what is fair or right.” This verdict confirmed that France 2 still doesn’t have a single piece of evidence to substantiate their al-Dura report. The judges had to reverse the burden of the evidence — using the extremely restrictive French defamation laws — to prevent France 2 from having to produce any evidence to confirm the report’s authenticity, and to temporarily block the recognition of the hoax.
French taxpayer money has been used to silence legitimate and necessary criticism of France 2’s disinformation.
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