A victory for press freedom as Dassault loses his legal action against Mediapart

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In a significant legal ruling that upholds the rights and freedom of the press, a Paris court has thrown out a lawsuit for invasion of privacy launched against Mediapart  by French industrialist, media tycoon and Senator Serge Dassault (pictured left).  The billionaire had attempted to obtain the censorship of recordings published by Mediapart and which reveal his complicity, in his own words, in funding electoral fraud. As Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel writes here, the court’s ruling announces a halt to the attacks on press freedom witnessed in two remarkable and absurd judgments concerning this website's reporting in the Bettencourt  affair.

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In a judgment pronounced on October 18th, a Paris court threw out a legal suit brought against Mediapart by French businessman and politician Serge Dassault. The billionaire, who heads the Dassault Group, a defence, aviation, media and property empire founded by his father Marcel Dassault, had applied for a censorship order on the contents of audio recordings published by Mediapart in which he can be heard confirming his participation in electoral fraud.