The trial of seventeen people, tried for aggravated online harassment against singer Eddy de Pretto, opened on Monday before the Paris Criminal Court.
Aged 20 to 26, the young defendants, arrested all over France, are sent back to court for the hateful and homophobic cyberbullying of the singer, who was present in the front row at the hearing.
This wave of hatred swept following a concert he had given at the Saint-Eustache church in Paris.
Invited to perform as part of the “Qui va piano va sano” festival, Eddy de Pretto had performed his piece “À quoi bon” evoking the difficulties of reconciling his homosexuality and religion.
“I don't think I'm ready to obey your Bible (…) I know what you like, I don't think I've read the right books/But you'll tell me no
, it's too much, you you're not healthy enough
/ To come into your ranks, you have to have done almost nothing, "sung Eddy de Pretto at the time.
At the end of his performance, he had received nearly 3,000 messages of insults and death threats on social networks, as confirmed at the hearing by his lawyer Me Nicolas Verly.
“You gigantic faggot”, “we will find you for your lack of respect, son of a bitch”, “die in hell dirty dog”, “I am going to rape you with a broom in a mosque”, for example, had written internet users , according to screenshots posted on the singer's Instagram account.
Hate messages that prompted him to file a complaint, triggering an investigation opened by the National Pole for the Fight against Online Hate of the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office.
The defendants (twelve present, five absent) will be judged on the counts of online harassment, with total incapacity for work for more than eight days, and online harassment with ITT for more than eight days committed because of the sexual orientation of the victim.
The trial is due to last until Friday.