Prosecuted for defamation by the magistrate Philippe Courroye for his book “The Wall of Cons“, Philippe Bilger was released, Tuesday, June 21, by the 6th chamber of the criminal court of Lyon, specializing in press affairs.
The judges considered that the former Advocate General had remained within the accepted limits of freedom of expression, in his uncompromising portrait of Philippe Courroye, in this book published by Albin Michel in 2019. The former Nanterre prosecutor claimed 35 000 euros in compensation for moral damage to his former colleague. He was absent from the hearing on May 17,
The Bettencourt Affair
Formed a civil party for Philippe Courroye, the lawyer Olivier Baratelli had also asked the judges for the judicial publication of the conviction in two national daily newspapers. The lawyer believed that Philippe Bilger had written his book “out of personal acrimony», being the brother of Pierre Bilger, former CEO of Alsthom, convicted of misuse of corporate assets following an investigation by Philippe Courroye.
In this work devoted to the situation of justice and its relationship with political power, Philippe Bilger estimated that Philippe Courroye, after having been a brilliant examining magistrate in Lyon, would have yielded to pressure from political power, being appointed prosecutor of Nanterre in 2007, against the very opinion of the Superior Council of the Judiciary. Philippe Bilger accuses him of having subsequently stifled the Bettencourt affair, by preventing the opening of a judicial investigation, and this to protect Nicolas Sarkozy. “A totally wrong thesis“, according to Me Olivier Baratelli.
For François Saint-Pierre, defender of Philippe Bilger, “justice has been insulted, manipulated under Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year term, and unfortunately magistrates have lent a hand“. “Philippe Courroye sues for censorship“, he pleaded, emphasizing that the incriminated book is a matter of free criticism, endowed “of literary value, in a style that carries a thought “.