The trial of Marine Le Pen for her remarks against the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), scheduled for Tuesday March 29, has been postponed until after the election period, “for the proper administration of justice” and in order to ensure “the serenity of the debates”.
The president of the National Rally had qualified, on March 17, 2019, the CCIF of “collective of Islamist fundamentalists who seek to prevent any criticism of Islamist fundamentalism by labeling it as Islamophobic” after the attacks, two days earlier, against two mosques in Christchurch (New Zealand), during which a far-right terrorist, Brenton Tarrant, had killed 51 people and injured 49. The CCIF had then denounced “the global nature of the Islamophobic phenomenon and the extreme urgency to combat it”.
The CCIF has since been dissolved on December 2, 2020 – it had taken the lead in announcing that it had “self-dissolving” Few days ago. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin argued that “for several years, the CCIF has consistently conducted Islamist propaganda”a decision confirmed by the Council of State.
An audience that could be “instrumentalised”
Nevertheless, the legal actions remain valid, and Jawad Bachare, the former executive director of the association, mandated by the liquidator of the CCIF, was present at the hearing on Tuesday. The court had already ruled that the civil action of the association Génération Identitaire, a movement of far-right young people, has also since been dissolved.
Mand David Dassa-Le Deist, for Marine Le Pen, asked for the postponement of a hearing which could be “instrumentalised ten days before the first round” of the presidential election, while “the official campaign opened yesterday”ensuring that he was otherwise “extremely serene” in this file. Mand Nawel Garcia, the CCIF lawyer, who does not err on the side of optimism, pointed out that if Marine Le Pen were elected, “the trial could be postponed in five years, and even if she were re-elected, in ten years”which would exceed “reasonable time” authorized by the European Court of Human Rights.
The 17and chamber of the Paris court postponed the hearing to October 6, and made sure with his lawyer that Marine Le Pen would be present.