French lawyer for an African bank sentenced for defamation of an NGO that had helped whistleblowers – Liberation

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Defender of the Congolese subsidiary of the Cameroonian bank Afriland First Bank, Eric Moutet was sentenced in France for having defamed the NGO Pplaaf which had helped two Congolese whistleblowers. The latter, former employees of the bank, had denounced the maneuvers of an Israeli wheeler-dealer. Sentenced to death in their country, they took refuge in France.

It is not common for a lawyer to be sentenced for defamation, especially against one of his colleagues. This is what happened on June 2 to Eric Moutet, lawyer for the Congolese branch of the Cameroonian bank Afriland First Bank, on a complaint from William Bourdon, president of Pplaaf (Platform for the protection of whistleblowers in Africa) . The first is condemned for “deliberately inaccurate and misleading remarks, in the almost total absence of factual basis, made with the aim of denigrating an NGO whose object is the defense of whistleblowers”.

In order not to interfere too much with the proverbial freedom of expression of lawyers – it is total at the bar of a court but more relative in the media – the criminal conviction of Me Moutet is symbolic: 500 euros suspended fine, plus 2,000 euros in damages to the civil party. But the expectations are bloody: “He degenerated the exercise of his client’s defense into a gratuitous and false attack by the Pplaaf.” For the record, Eric Moutet is a former administrator of Sherpa, an association aiming at international financial transparency, in particular on the front line in the fight against ill-gotten gains, also founded by…

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