No disciplinary action will be taken against the magistrate who had ordered the expulsion of a lawyer during a hearing in March in Aix-en-Provence, an incident which had caused a stir in the profession, indicated the Department of Justice in the Senate.
“After having taken cognizance of the entire file, the course of the facts and the behavior of all the protagonists, and taking into account the appeasement of the situation, the Prime Minister decided not to take any disciplinary action.“, wrote the ministry in its response, on September 9, to a written question from Senator Jean Hingray on March 25.
“We would not do better if we wanted a war”
Victim of this expulsion, Me Paul Sollacaro, son of the president of Ajaccio Antoine Sollacaro, assassinated in 2012 in Corsica, denounced this decision Monday evening, considering that “we wouldn’t do better if we wanted a war between lawyers and magistrates“.
“We are creating the conditions for war and I think this war will take place, I don’t think we are going in the direction of appeasement“, insisted the lawyer registered with the bar of Nice:”We authorize total arbitrariness, we go from the country of human rights to North Korea“.
This hearing incident took place on March 11, during the trial of 11 defendants in a drug trafficking case, after Me Sollacaro requested the disjunction of the case of his client, positive for Covid-19. This request was rejected by the president of the Aix-en-Provence criminal court, Marc Rivet, who also objected to the defendant appearing before the court.
After heated exchanges between the lawyer and the magistrate, the latter had Me Sollacaro evacuated by the police. Out of solidarity, all the other lawyers present had deserted the room. Speaking of a “serious hearing incident“, the first president of the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal had recognized that ordering the eviction of a lawyer was “a rare and extreme decision, as was the behavior of the lawyer concerned“, who would have “uttered invective and virulent personal attacksto the Presiding Judge.
A complaint for “aggravated violence”
Jean Castex had seized the General Inspectorate of Justice a few days later. It is on the basis of this report that the Prime Minister decided not to take any sanction.
Me Sollacaro had personally lodged a complaint, for “aggravated violence“, but his request had been judged”inadmissibleat the beginning of June by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, according to which “only the litigant concerned by the legal proceedingscan complain about the behavior of a magistrate in the exercise of his functions.