He hopes that "this painful story will not happen again, when so many colleagues suffer attacks on their freedom of work". Grégoire Souchay, a journalist from Reporterre prosecuted after covering an action by the anti-GMO collective Voluntary Reapers, was acquitted on Wednesday by the Criminal Court of Rodez.
His lawyer Alexandre Faro also said he was "satisfied" with this decision, "but what would have been ideal is a drop of the prosecution" on the part of the prosecutor, he noted, while the prosecutor requested the acquittal.
Grégoire Souchay had been summoned by the gendarmerie a few months after an action by voluntary GMO mowers who had entered on November 10, 2021 in a site of the RAGT seed group in Calmont (Aveyron). Present on site for his media, he was suspected by the justice of having "fraudulently removed bags containing rapeseed seeds" and "deliberately degraded or deteriorated several bags of seed".
"Unfounded accusations" according to Reporterre, which assured in a statement Tuesday that "the journalist only did his job of observation and testimony". Grégoire Souchay had also received last November the support of several unions and journalists' organizations, which had denounced in a forum an "attack on the freedom to inform".
The journalist was due to be tried on Wednesday along with several members of the collective, but the two cases were eventually severed by the court. After trying Grégoire Souchay, the court had to look into the case of the activists.
Read alsoThese GMOs hidden on our plates
They had disemboweled bags containing several tons of sunflower seeds and mixed them with maize to make them unusable. The seeds were obtained by NBTs (new breeding techniques), tools to modify the genome of plants without insertion of foreign gene (transgenesis), and are considered genetically modified organisms by anti-GMO activists.