France Télévisions condemned for broadcasting images of the attack in prison

It was an “obvious search for sensationalism”, criticizes the Paris Criminal Court. The court sentenced France Télévisions to a suspended fine of 1,500 euros for the broadcast in the television news of France 3 Corse of photos of the attack on Yvan Colonna, in prison in March 2022.

The report was broadcast fifteen days after his attack in Arles prison – where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination of the prefect Claude Erignac – by Franck Elong Abé, a prisoner convicted in a terrorist case. The report showed screenshots from prison video surveillance, in a “raw and non-contextualized” manner, the court said in its decision.

A report quickly removed

If Yvan Colonna was not “identifiable” in the images, “the evocative force” of the shots, aided by the editing of the subject, “is no less real”, also says the decision, which judges that the report has no “contribution” in terms of information. The report had been put online on the France 3 site but had been withdrawn after about thirty minutes. France Télévisions, via its boss Delphine Ernotte, the editorial director of France 3 Corse and the two authors of the subject appeared on March 15 for “publication of criminal proceedings before their reading in public hearing” or complicity in this offense .

France Télévisions and the two journalists who authored the subject were sentenced to a suspended fine of 1,500 euros. They will also have to pay a total of 9,000 euros in damages to the relatives of the Corsican activist who filed a civil action. The editorial director of France 3 Corse was released.

Me Marie-Laure Barré, lawyer for the widow and one of the victim’s sons, welcomed this conviction, recalling that the “viewing of these images had been very violent” for her clients.

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