Judicial dragnet in Corsican nationalist circles: Charles Pieri, figure suspected of having led the FLNC for a time, was indicted in Paris and imprisoned on Friday for terrorist offenses, while seven other people were indicted.
The activist of the independence party Corsica Libera, 72, a controversial figure of Corsican nationalism, already convicted several times, including for terrorist offenses, was arrested on Monday in Corsica with six other activists of his party and an eighth person in this information court on the threat of a return to armed struggle by the FLNC (Corsica National Liberation Front).
These eight people, including Charles Pieri, have also been indicted for the unauthorized acquisition and possession of category B weapons in connection with a terrorist enterprise, as well as for refusing to communicate or implement an encryption key, ‘according to a judicial source. Charles Pieri was remanded in custody. The other seven people were released on Friday under judicial supervision, lawyers and the judicial source said.
Pieri disputes “any link in relation to a terrorist enterprise”
Charles Pieri’s lawyer, Me Marc Antoine Luca, told AFP that “all those charged, who do not deny being political activists and by definition public, on the other hand totally dispute the facts and everything link in relation to a terrorist enterprise, which they are accused of. »
Me Marc Antoine Luca also defends Matteo Giona, Lionel Giona, Jacques Mosconi, Nicolas Mattei as well as Ghjuvan’Battista Pieri, the son of Charles Pieri, who are part of the mis en cause. Finally, Me Emmanuel Mercinier-Pantalacci, lawyer for Ghjiseppu Maria Verdi, grandson of Charles Pieri, denounces him, “a grotesque indictment. It is not based on anything. It is obviously a question of legitimizing four days of abusive police custody. »
Former flagship party of the independence movement, Corsica Libera has only one elected since the territorial elections of 2021, against 13 previously. Me Emmanuel Molina, counsel for Alexandre Michel, the eighth person arrested who is not a member of Corsica Libera, told him that there was “reason to rejoice at a release which cannot, however, hide the fact that ( his) client rightly vigorously disputes having committed any infringement. »
“Muzzled political expression”
In a press release, sent on September 2, 2021 to Corse-Matin, the FLNC had threatened a return to armed struggle on the island if the French state continued “its policy of contempt”. On a video accompanying the text, about fifty hooded men, dressed in black and heavily armed, surrounded an activist who read the text signed by the FLNC-Union des combatants (FLNC-UC) and the FLNC on October 22. On December 1, three people had already been arrested.
Two of them, including Pierre Paoli, a Corsica Libera activist, were released three days later, while the third man was transferred on a warrant to Paris, where he was charged and placed in detention. provisional Wednesday, according to the judicial source. According to Corse-Matin, it is Richard Bouza-Fernandez. At France 3 Corse Viastella, the lawyer Me Laura Maria Poli, who defends this man with Amale Kenbib, indicated that “this indictment (was) a surprise”, for a person “totally unknown to the police and gendarmerie services. »
She spoke of “pressure incarceration”. She did not respond to AFP. In total, nine people were therefore indicted this week at the anti-terrorism unit, two of whom were imprisoned, including Charles Pieri. Sulidarita, an association for the defense of so-called “political” prisoners, denounced Friday to AFP “totally empty files”. “Through these methods, the French state seeks to muzzle political expression and put pressure on activists and their families by exploiting all the possibilities offered by its emergency legislation,” she said.
Corsica has known for a year a multiplication of arson attacks mainly targeting second homes of French people residing in France, but without official claim. Gérald Darmanin postponed until January the trip he was to make this week in Corsica, estimating in agreement with local elected officials that the climate was “not favorable”, indicated the Ministry of the Interior on Sunday.