Four former employees of the manager of high voltage lines RTE were sentenced Tuesday in Paris to fines of 5,000 to 10,000 euros for interventions deemed fraudulent on the electricity network during a strike in 2022. The four RTE agents, dismissed since then, aged 32 to 36, admitted having programmed the interruption of "
" on a total of 25 electrical substations in Hauts-de-France in June-July 2022.
For them, it was a “
” militant action in the context of a social conflict over wages within the company.
These interruptions had the consequence, for a period ranging from a few hours to a day, of preventing the visibility and operation of these remote posts.
Following a complaint from RTE, an investigation had been opened and the employees placed in police custody in October at the premises of the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), which had aroused the ire of the CGT .
They were then sent back to court for cybercrime offences.
A month after the hearing, the court decided not to enter the fines in the criminal records of the defendants and chose penalties lower than the requisitions of the prosecution, which had requested six to eight months in prison suspended as well as 7,000 euro fine.
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The four defendants were found guilty of obstructing the operation of an automated data processing system, but released for modifying such a system and fraudulently entering data.
The court rejected the defense's request to annul the proceedings on the grounds of "
", as well as its criticisms concerning the referral to the DGSI to investigate, instead of another service.
On the other hand, the court canceled part of the acts of investigation (the telephone tapping of the employees as well as their police custody for an exceptional period of 96 hours), because they had been authorized in application of suspicions of "sabotage
, while the hypothesis of a “
trade union action
” was quickly confirmed and that of a “
foreign service action
The message from the court is very clear: there has been an instrumentalization of these derogatory measures for the purpose of repression of the trade union movement
”, reacted Me Loïc Le Quellec, lawyer for one of the employees.
Me Jérôme Karsenti, lawyer for another defendant, considered that the court had remained "
halfway, without going to the end of its own reasoning
Regretting that the court did not opt for an exemption from sentence, he nevertheless said he was "
rather satisfied to see that the reality of the offense against public order was taken into account