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.
In 2010 the former Société Générale employee was convicted in relation to a series of trades that cost the bank up to 4.9 billion euros. Last year the ex-trader lost an appeal against his three-year jail sentence. However, the saga continues. On 4th July Kerviel, who has always insisted his bosses knew what he was doing, will take his former employer to an industrial tribunal seeking 4.9 billion euros in damages – equal to the sum he is said to have lost the bank. His lawyer has meanwhile made a formal complaint alleging forgery and use of false documents. In particular the trader’s legal team has highlighted some curious discrepancies in the recordings made when Kerviel was questioned by his bank superiors as his huge losses became clear; recordings that went on to form the basis of the evidence that convicted him. Martine Orange investigates.