Magistrate Philippe Courroye sues former Advocate General Philippe Bilger for defamation

The magistrate Philippe Courroye claimed Tuesday in Lyon 35,000 euros in moral damages for defamation to the former general counsel Philippe Bilger, for the portrait that the latter had made of him in one of his books. “Everything that Philippe Bilger writes is strictly inaccurate, he made defamatory remarks”, pleaded Philippe Courroye’s lawyer, Me Olivier Baratelli, before the Lyon Criminal Court.

The lawyer criticized Philippe Bilger for having written his book “out of personal acrimony”, being the brother of Pierre Bilger, former CEO of Alstom, convicted of misuse of corporate assets following an investigation led by Philippe Courroye . Me Baratelli, also asked the judges for the judicial publication of the conviction in two national daily newspapers.

Covering up the Bettencourt affair

His book was published in 2019 by Albin Michel and was titled “Le Mur des cons”, an allusion to a wall where members of the Syndicat de la magistrature pinned photos, in particular of politicians. In his work devoted to the situation of justice and its relationship with political power, Philippe Bilger affirms that Philippe Courroye would have yielded to the pressures of political power, being appointed prosecutor of Nanterre in 2007, against the very opinion of the Superior Council of the judiciary.

Philippe Bilger also criticizes the one who was an examining magistrate in Lyon, for having subsequently stifled the Bettencourt affair, by preventing the opening of a judicial investigation, and this to protect Nicolas Sarkozy. “A totally erroneous thesis”, denounced Me Olivier Baratelli.

“Manipulated justice under Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year term”

“All this does not come out of the hat, does not come out of Philippe Bilger’s spirit of revenge,” said the lawyer for Albin Michel, citing multiple portraits that appeared in the press of the current attorney general at the court. call from Paris. “We have the impression of going back several decades: Philippe Courroye is suing for censorship,” said François Saint-Pierre, defender of Philippe Bilger.

For the lawyer, the honorary magistrate’s book is a matter of free criticism and freedom being “total, even if the remarks are insulting, defamatory, we have the right to speak ill of Courroye”. “Justice has been insulted, manipulated under Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year term, and unfortunately magistrates have lent a hand,” he added.

Judgment will be delivered on June 21.

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