Me Richard Malka is the lawyer of Benjamin Griveaux, who announced this Friday his decision to withdraw from the race for mayor of Paris after the dissemination of videos of a sexual nature on a mysterious site. This specialist in press law wonders about the legal consequences to give to this story and what this sequence reveals about the current climate of our society.
Are you going to file a complaint after this sexual video is broadcast?
We are studying things. The case is legally very complex. This video was posted on a clandestine site, without legal mention, hosted in North America (Editor's note, in Canada) and which we are told is linked to a Russian artist. Under these conditions, the question is as follows: who am I suing? So we are looking into the matter.
VIDEO. Benjamin Griveaux withdraws his candidacy for mayor of Paris
But is the broadcasting of this video an offense?
Yes, absolutely. there is no doubt. It is a very clear invasion of privacy within the meaning of article 9 of the Civil Code. But it is also a criminal offense since it is an attack on the privacy of private life punished by article 226-2 of the Criminal Code. And I'm not interested in the question of whether this video is authentic or not. The offense is constituted anyway.
What does this sequence inspire in you?
It is very disturbing. We are faced with a destabilization which reminds me of certain processes formerly in vogue in Eastern Europe. The combination of the violence of political life and the violence of digital life has created a democratic monstrosity. These procedures scare me.
Newsletter - The essentials of the newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to allow you to receive our news and commercial offers. Find out more
Are you convinced that this is a remote-controlled operation?
To tell the truth, at this stage, we know nothing about it. As I told you, it will be difficult to pick up the thread of this story. But I only notice that it seems well organized.
Doesn't the broadcasting of this video reveal the vulnerability of politicians to the dangers of digital technology?
For sure. But the issue goes beyond the category of political leaders alone. It is a sequence that must question all citizens because we cannot ask an entire society to live permanently in paranoia. It would be necessary to say nothing more, to do nothing more…? What would happen if we searched each citizen's phones?
Are you worried?
Yes. We are in a totalitarian, Orwellian climate. This must collectively question us: in which world are we moving? What do we want to leave for our children?
What do you think of the attitude of MP Joachim Son-Forget who relayed this video on Twitter?
I prefer not to say anything about it. It is so unworthy.