Thirteen defendants, including two Franck-Comtois, are on trial for attempting to attack Emmanuel Macron

Haut-Saônois, 40, and Belfortain, 39, are among the defendants whose trial began on January 17 in a Paris court. They are part of the far-right group Les Barjols. In November 2018, they attempted to attack the president of the republic during commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ceasefire in Lorraine. They are prosecuted under the article “being a criminal partner for the purpose of preparing terrorist acts”.

The suspects were brought to criminal responsibility under the article “being a criminal partner for the purpose of preparing terrorist acts”.

After a four-year investigation, 11 men and two women were brought to trial in late 2018 for plotting a “violent action” against Emmanuel Macron and inciting the killing of migrants or attacks on mosques. None of these projects have been implemented.

Among the 13 defendants are two Francs-Comtois. Xavier G. is a municipal employee in a town near Lure in Haute-Saône. His childhood friend is Jonathan D. Belfortain. Xavier G. presents himself as the Franche-Comté leader of Barjols de Franche-Comté. Our colleague Bleu from France provides detailed information about the conditions of their detention.

Xavier G. was arrested in January 2021 and Jonathan D. in June 2021. During a search of Haut-Saônois’ home, investigators found a 22-gauge rifle, a shotgun and ammunition, as well as a sniper air rifle. tripod. Jonathan D. confesses that he sold him one of the guns. A three-page file on Xavier G.’s phone explaining how to make incendiary bombs. He would give a copy to one of the Barjols leaders. To the investigators’ question about this, he answered, “as if he is interested in painting a wall or laying a carpet.” A video of him on his hard drive with the caption, along with other “Barjols” threatening the government. A picture of Adolf Hitler on his computer.

Clementine Sabrie, French Blue

All of the defendants on trial for the criminal terrorist organization in 2017 centered around the Barjols, a small group from the Facebook group, a follower of paramilitary meetings and a “grand replacement” conspiracy theory.

According to Xavier G.’s lawyer, M° Dylan Slama, this three-week trial will allow him to express himself “calmly but firmly”.

The difficulty is to demonstrate that there was no intention to act. There are only theoretical speeches. (…) As for my client, he had no will to do anything.

M° Dylan Slama, attorney for Xavier G.

Like other defense attorneys, M°Slama admits that his client, Barjols member “Once upon a time, ideas that could be expressed in words. There are meetings that could happen, but tomorrow there is nothing concrete.”

Organizational problems had to be solved on this first day. This trial will last for three weeks. The defendants and their lawyers stressed that they had difficulty finding accommodation and organizing their professional lives during the three weeks in Paris.

The investigation opened at the end of October 2018 was born in a very special context, during the flowering of the “yellow vests”, who were preparing their first major national mobilization on November 17.

“In such a case, the fantasy of political justice and order is sometimes resorted to”underlines the president before adding: “I can assure you that we have 200% intellectual independence.”

Confronted with defendants close to the nebula of the ultra-right, Mr. Coke drives home the point: “Political thinking is not a crime in itself.”

According to the indictment, criminal associations for the purpose of preparing terrorist acts, in which the defendants are accused – only one of whom participated as a detainee – were characterized by these paramilitary meetings, especially in 2017-2018. plans for a coup or kidnapping of elected officials are discussed.

Two accused persons have a special place in this case, and after the investigation, amendments were made to this matter. Jean-Pierre Buyer, an ultra-right activist who was arrested on November 6, 2018, along with three other defendants, is suspected of playing a leading role in the project to attack Emmanuel Macron during the head of state’s commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the armistice. then he was leading in the East.
Guns and ammunition were found at the end of 2018 at the home of this 66-year-old former garage owner of Barjols’ former number 2.

Denis Collinet, who was arrested in March 2020 and who sits on the dock next to him, is the founder of this anti-Islam and anti-immigration collective.

On the first day of the hearing, the focus was on the other defendants, who live far from Paris and who expressed difficulty in attending every day of the trial at the risk of losing their jobs.

“I know you will punish me, but I choose my work” turns on Delphine T., who annoys the president with her somewhat confusing explanations. “Excuse me, but we are not in a hair salon”he answers briefly.

His co-defendant is unemployed and his lawyer, Romain Ruiz, is stressing his client’s costs “Considering three weeks of listening in Paris”. “It is not a fact that the fight against terrorism is centralized.” in the capital, he adds.

Julien C. cites a very specific reason that will prevent him from fully participating in the trial: the cat is “diabetic” and “isolated in Britain”. “Other than me, no one can approach him,” he said, arousing the president’s disbelief.

His understanding is greater when it comes to Antoine D., who was arrested at the very beginning of the investigation and suffered from a mental disorder. At the bar, the 26-year-old defendant almost fainted and admitted that he had “vaguely understood” charges against him. “There are elements of particular fragility,” receives the president of the court.

with AFP

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