None of the night owls was at the bar of the Paris Criminal Court this Friday to listen to the decision of their judges.
These four men, aged 21 to 37, were sentenced for having organized a clandestine party, in December 2020 in Paris, near the Hotel Matignon.
Two of them received three-month suspended prison sentences and a fine of 2,000 euros, including 1,000 euros suspended.
The other two were fined 3,000 euros, including 2,200 euros suspended.
The facts date back to the night of December 12 to 13, 2020, rue de Varenne in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
The four friends had rented this triplex apartment, located close to the Hotel Matignon, where the Prime Minister resides, to transform it into a nightclub, in defiance of all sanitary rules.
Invitations were running on social networks.
A triplex transformed into a nightclub
The company was discovered by the police after a call made by a bad coucher, who wanted to come and have fun for free.
When the police intervened in this apartment, a hundred people were partying there without masks.
There was also a bar, a waitress, a DJ and two security guards.
The revelers were evacuated without being fined.
Read also Covid-19: more than 300 underground parties identified since mid-January
The next day, investigators from the police station identified the owner of the premises, who confirmed that he had rented his property on the Booking site to a young man who wanted to organize a dinner.
The police went up on this track before identifying the four defendants.
These professionals, mercenaries of the night, were deprived of activity by the health crisis.
Usually, they are paid to bring customers to Parisian nightclubs, by animating social networks.
During the hearing, some explained that they wanted to have fun, but did not intend to make money.
And others assured that they had nothing to do with the organization and that they had been invited to participate in the evening.
The prosecutor had requested against the quartet sentences of two months in prison suspended at 2,000 euros fine.
The magistrate felt that these four defendants put the participants of this evening in danger.
"These men are not students who wanted to fill their boredom," he had noticed.
They are Covid-19 opportunists who wanted to take advantage of the situation.
Lawyers consider appealing
The lawyers, present at the hearing for their clients and for others involved in other similar cases, fear that this conviction will pave the way for others in future hearings which are already scheduled. "The court only retained the offense of endangering the life of others," explains Me Julien Vernet, the lawyer for one of the defendants of the day. I will discuss this with my client, but I am considering appealing this decision. Because this offense does not correspond to the situation. The risk of injury or death from contamination by Covid is only 0.08%, that is to say almost zero. "
His colleague, Me Andréa Fichot considers that this judgment resembles “an administrative decision” and does not seem to him to be founded in law. "Recently, the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons had recommended no longer to prosecute the organizers of clandestine parties for endangering the lives of others," adds another lawyer, who closely follows this type of case. New hearings are scheduled in Paris for identical facts, as the country is slowly emerging from the health crisis.