The lawyer who had been expelled from the court in Aix-en-Provence files a complaint against the magistrates

In March 2021, the lawyers of many bars had demonstrated to support their Nice colleague expelled from the court of Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône). (©DR)

It was a court incident that stirred an entire profession. March 11, 2021 Paul Sollacarolawyer at the bar of Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), was expelled by the security service, at the request of the president of the court ofAix en Provence during a hearing.

“Unheard of, it’s totally unworthy of a magistrate and of justice, what image we give…” is still offended by the lawyer today.

He had immediately received the support of his colleagues who went so far as to demonstrate in front of several courts in France, others spoke from Canada, Switzerland and even Belgium.

What happened that day

For them, the magistrate’s reaction was completely disproportionate. Me Paul Sollacaro was defending a client who faced 20 years in prison for drug trafficking. Only his client having been tested positive for Covid-19, he could not go to the hearing, the lawyer then wanted the dismissal of it. A dismissal that was rejected, “without even deliberation and in a court with a very unpleasant atmosphere. »

To answer his duty to advise and inform the clientthe lawyer asked to go out to call him, “I was told: you don’t go out, you don’t call him”.

He insists but the magistrate would not have allowed himself to be “shut up, otherwise I will call the security service”. Which he ended up doing, so the lawyer was kicked out of court by police.

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I was evacuated like shit, I hesitated to say “like a thug” but even thugs are treated better.

Paul SollacaroLawyer at the bar of Nice

As for his client, he was tried in his absence and in the absence of his lawyerhe was sentenced to four years in prison.

The seizure inspection

The legal profession therefore mobilized and it went all the way to the National Assembly, a deputy from Val d’Oise, Antoine Savignat then challenged the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond Moretti.

He is the spokesman for the government, Gabriel Attalwhich eventually announced that the Prime Minister John Castex was going to seize service inspection for an investigation to be carried out.

“We were all auditioned, it went well, we were very confident, says Paul Sollacaro, for me there was no doubt that this very serious attack should be severely punished. »

For his part, he also attempted to write to the judicial councilbut his request was declared inadmissible, only a court can enter this instance and not a lawyer.

No penalty

The months pass, “at the end of August, we still had no news of this report, I wrote to Jean Castex, it is still an important file for the legal profession. ” He does not receive an answer but finds it in the official journal of the Senate, ” I read there that they did not intend to prosecute the magistrate, judging that the situation has calmed down. »

Angry, he asks for a copy of the report, “corporatism ran at full speed, the magistrates flooded the inspection with elements of context when we had contented ourselves with talking only about the incident of March 11. »

For him, “they sought to discredit the bar by recalling the strike of January 2020, bringing them back to troublemakers. »

It is a truncated, biased and partial report.

Paul SollacaroLawyer at the bar of Nice

He ended up request a second inspection and the Conseil national des barreaux also reports on the case. In addition, a complaint was filed against the magistrate and the police.

A case in the case

But along with that, another case angered the lawyer. That of suspicion of illegal taking of interests of the Keeper of the Seals in which his name is found. Indeed, in October 2020, the anti-corruption association Anticor had filed a complaint for “illegal taking of interests” against Eric Dupond-Moretti, two judicial unions followed in December 2020.

“I discovered in an article by BFM that two magistrates’ unions had lodged a complaint with the administrative court. They say that if the inspection of the services had been seized on my case, it is because I would be close to the minister. I learn moreover in this article that I am very close to him, we know each other, we have good relations, but we are not very close” he relates.

He decides to file a complaint for slanderous denunciation, “I will not be the collateral damage of their holy war against the minister”. This was filed with the Paris court on September 21.

False information, according to the magistrates

“The BFM article tells fake news” argues Katya Dubreuil, president of the magistrates’ union. “We are not questioning the legitimacy of this inspection, it is only a letter that we sent to provide information to the Court of Justice of the Republic, showing them that since our complaint, the Minister has not taken ignore conflicts of interest,” she explains.

Thereby, three facts would have been brought to the attention of the court, including the position taken by the Keeper of the Seals in the Paul Sollacaro affair: “We reproach him for having spoken the very evening of the incident, before the Prime Minister recovered the case and seized the ‘inspection. »

An argument confirmed by his colleague from the Union of Magistrates (USM), Ludovic Friat. He believes that this lawyer’s complaint is “a media posture, far from legal reality. “They both wonder what offense they would have committed that could lead to a complaint, “I did not know that being a friend of a minister was a criminal offense leading to slanderous denunciation” ironically the secretary general of the USM.

The unions do not seem worried about this complaint, “we are in an important procedure against Eric Dupond-Moretti, we are obliged to respond to little stories like these which leak but we do not see the point of make a whole mess of it,” concludes Katya Dubreuil.

On the Paul Sollacaro case, she would like to recall that her union had published a press release at the time in which we can read: “There are cardinal principles: the right for an accused to appear in person and to be heard at his criminal trial, and the fact that force can only be used to expel anyone, let alone a lawyer, from a courtroom when the situation absolutely requires it. »

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