A very well-attended hearing at the Niort Criminal Court this Monday afternoon. Five anti-basin protesters were prosecuted for « participation in a group formed to prepare violence against persons or destruction and damage to property ». Two defendants were sentenced to three months in prison with simple suspension, three defendants with two months with simple suspension. All have ban on staying in Deux-Sèvres for three years. The prosecutor had requested four months with a simple suspended sentence and a ban on staying in Deux-Sèvres for five years for the five anti-basin activists.
Even if they finally refused to attend their trial (see below), four out of five defendants were present in Niort. They are three Charentais aged 29, 35 and 66 and a resident of Loire-Atlantique aged 44. The fifth defendant (wounded by an LBD shot), resident of Oise, was absent at the trial, he suffers from « dizziness ».
Dismissal denied, defendants leave court
Before the trial, a request for dismissal made by the defense was refused by the court to the chagrin of the lawyer for the defendants, Maître Alexis Baudelin. « There were a lot of elements that justified a dismissal and if we are refused this dismissal, we refuse to participate in this trial. And if there is going to be a conviction, there will be an appeal and, at that time, we will have time to prepare this trial properly. » None of the defendants therefore attended the trial, they preferred to leave the court when the referral was refused.
All five were arrested on October 29 during the mobilization organized despite a prefectural ban in Sainte-Soline, in Deux-Sèvres.
That day, several thousand people had responded to a call to demonstrate from the collective « Basins No Thanks » and clashes had broken out with the police. This Monday, a support rally was organized in front of the Niort court by the anti-basins.