The defense of the defendants denounces a “criminalization of political action”, nearly four years after a demonstration which had turned into a confrontation with the police.
Seven opponents of the Cigeo nuclear waste landfill project are judged on Tuesday 1is June to Friday June 3 before the Criminal Court of Bar-le-Duc. Three are referred to justice for several reasons: “criminal association”, in this case for having organized an “unlawful demonstration” on August 15, 2017, but also “participation in a gathering after the dispersal summons” during this demonstration, and “possession of incendiary substances or products”.
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Three other defendants must appear for “possession of incendiary substances or products” only. A seventh person will be tried for having, during the same event, “deliberately inflicted violence” on gendarmes, violence not having resulted in total incapacity for work (ITT). All these events took place in Bure (Meuse), a village where the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste (Andra) is developing a project, called Cigéo, for the underground storage of radioactive nuclear waste.
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The judicial investigation lasted three years and four months. The investigation was carried out by a dedicated unit of the gendarmerie, which used the Anacrim software, already used in complex cases involving Michel Fourniret or Nordahl Lelandais, or in the Grégory affair. Investigators also used devices to intercept all mobile telecommunications within a given perimeter, authorized since the passage of the law relating to intelligence, shortly after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo.
A rally of support is organized
The defendants’ lawyers judge “Extremely consistent” the technical and human resources deployed as part of the investigation. “We went very, very far, to get back to almost nothing: finally, we end up with a debate around a demonstration. The great association of criminals, fantasized by the accusation, does not look like much anymore ”, estimated to AFP Me Raphaël Kempf, one of the defendants’ lawyers.
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“This investigation served to limit the possibility for activists to organize collectively. It served to harm a political movement that displeases the government. This judicial information made it possible to limit opposition to nuclear power in Bure ”, he added. Solicited, the public prosecutor of Bar-le-Duc, Sofiane Saboulard, stressed that the defendants benefited “Of all the remedies permitted by the code of criminal procedure”.
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A collective of associations called for a rally in support of the defendants and against Cigéo, near the Bar-Le-Duc court, during the three days of the trial. Several elected officials, including the ecologist MEP Michèle Rivasi, have announced their presence. Between 200 and 400 people are expected, depending on the prefecture.