The lawyers of journalist Taha Bouhafs denounce a procedure “out of law”led by the Committee for monitoring sexual and gender-based violence (CVSS) of La France insoumise, which, according to them, prevents him from responding to the accusations against him, in a press release sent to AFP on Thursday.
“Taha Bouhafs intends, through the voice of his counsel, to reaffirm his right to know the accusations against him in order to be able to respond to them, in the same way as any publicly accused citizen”, write his three lawyers Mes William Bourdon, Raphaël Kempf and Vincent Brengarth.
Candidate for the legislative elections in the Rhône, the journalist withdrew on May 10, citing the “racism” of “unprecedented attacks” against him carried out by the macronie, the right and part of the left. But LFI announced the next day that an internal investigation had been opened against it by the CVSS.
Taha Bouhafs broke his silence on Tuesday to criticize LFI, in a six-page open letter published on social networks, for not having allowed him to defend himself against the accusations and claim “fair and equitable procedure”.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party defended itself by explaining that it could not transmit to him “the information sent to the cell”nor organize a confrontation, in the name of “the complainants’ desire for anonymity”. But “in respect of the contradictory, it may be heard by our authorities”, adds the movement, which continues “(his) work of conviction with the plaintiffs so that they seize justice”.
An “intolerable” situation
“This situation is not tolerable because it seriously disregards the rights of Taha Bouhafs”, consider his lawyers. “Everyone must measure the risk of ‘political justice’ which would be based on ‘clues’ of which only the recipients would know the content, which would be exercised without a perfectly defined procedure, in defiance of the principle of adversarial proceedings and without access to factual elements”they add.
“The procedure followed against Taha Bouhafs is ‘outside the law’, which prevented him from being able to respond to the accusations against him“, believe Mes Bourdon, Kempf and Brengarth. The three lawyers question “more generally the need to review the internal procedures of certain political formations or associative structures, to avoid, in the name of the legitimate fight against sexual violence, that trials are conducted unilaterally in an interpersonal environment that cannot guarantee neutrality and impartiality”.
Justice fails to do its job
On BFMTV, the rebellious MP Clémentine Autain, directly questioned by Taha Bouhafs, recalled that “the women who testified did not want this to be in the public square”. “We are not justice, we do not dispense justice”she continued, but she points out that “justice cannot do its job”.
“The responsibility that we take is to say that our organization, by political choice, does not want to be represented by men of whom we would have testimonies affirming that they could be violent. It’s a political choice.”she insisted.