Six men were sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison suspended for participating with a weapon in a "gathering". They were arrested in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) during tensions between demonstrators mobilized against the pension reform and the police,
The six defendants, three of whom are unionized at the CFDT, were specifically prosecuted for participation with a weapon in a gathering as well as for intentional violence without disability on police officers.
The court finally acquitted them of the violence, in this case stone throwing, considering that "at the times specified in the commissioner's report, the defendants were not on the scene". But they are ordered to pay 500 euros in damages and 300 euros in procedural compensation to each of the seven officials of the BAC (Anti-Crime Brigade) constituted civil parties.
All respondents denied the facts
They were arrested on the night of 22 to 23 March on the port, where the police intervened to lift roadblocks of protesters against the pension reform. That night, dozens of people with their faces covered gathered at 3 a.m. to block the various accesses to the economic zone. When they arrived around 4 a.m., the police were insulted and projectile thrown. A company of CRS was called in as reinforcements. Seven people were arrested. One of them, hospitalized, was not prosecuted.
Employees in companies of the port, the defendants all denied the violence at the bar. "We work at night, and that day we finished at 4 a.m.," said one of them, aged 56. "When we arrived, there was (a charge) of CRS. Our movement was peaceful." At the time of his arrest, another 44-year-old defendant was in possession of a stone. "In the adrenaline, I picked up a pebble, but it stayed in my pocket," he said.
"We are not going to say that these are scenes of war, but they are fires everywhere, Molotov cocktails and stone throwing," said Catherine Pfeffer, a lawyer for the police. Lawyer of the youngest defendants, aged 28 and 32, Isabelle Pauwels regretted "the absence of on-board cameras at the CRS" or video surveillance available.