lawyers denounce the “deviation of the rule of law”

The lawyers of the ten former Italian activists who had taken refuge in France and claimed by Italy denounced on Monday July 11 a “deviation from the rule of lawafter Emmanuel Macron’s statement and the decision of the Paris public prosecutor’s office to challenge the rejection of their extradition requests.

In these cases, I never had an appeal. We are indeed in a diversion, a dysfunction of the rule of law under pressure from political power“, denounced Me Irène Terrel, who defends seven ex-activists, during a press conference also organized by the League of Human Rights (LDH).

“Challenging the Mitterand doctrine”

There is a real political will to challenge the Mitterrand doctrine“Said Me Antoine Comte, who defends another former activist, recalling that blood crimes were not excluded, contrary to what Emmanuel Macron said. The Paris Court of Appeal rejected on June 29 the extradition requests of these ten former Italian far-left activists, accused by Rome of “terrorism” during the “years of lead(1970-1980) and now aged 61 to 78. But the Attorney General, Rémy Heitz, seized the Court of Cassation of these decisions.

Refugees in France for thirty or forty years, these two women and eight men felt protected there by virtue of the doctrine enunciated by former President François Mitterrand (1981-1995): they would not be handed over to Italy if they were breaking with their past as activists. But in the spring of 2021, the Head of State had decided to promote the execution of the extradition requests of these six ex-Red Brigades and four ex-members of armed groups renewed a year earlier by Rome. After the Court of Appeal’s decision, he reaffirmed his wish that they be “tried on Italian soil“.

By reacting to a court decision, Emmanuel Macron violated “the fundamental principle of the separation of powers“, denounced Jean-Paul Chagnollaud, professor of political science. “The president is not all-powerful, he must respect what he guarantees“, according to Jean-Paul Chagnollaud, in this case the independence of justice.

Me Terrel also recalled that the ten former activists had already been tried in Italy and that no fair trial was, according to her, possible forty years after the facts. Texts by authors Annie Ernaux and Pierre Lemaitre, or historians Michèle Riot-Sarcey and Ludivine Bantigny were read. “The harassment of Italian refugees must end“, estimated the writer Eric Vuillard. The companion of one of the former militants read a message on behalf of all the families, denouncing a “incomprehensible relentlessnessand reminding them ofintention to fight to the end“.


SEE ALSO – Emmanuel Macron reaffirms his wish that the former Italian militants be judged in Italy

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