RFI, “French anarchist sabotage trial turns to farce”

Ten years after being rounded up in a well-publicised raid by anti-terror police, defendants in a trial for the alleged sabotage of a rail line did their best to ridicule the prosecution and show their lack of respect for the court this week. The case, which started out as an accusation of a terrorist plot, appears to have been sparked in part by reports from a British undercover cop who has since been exposed by environmental activists.

“Monsieur Coupat, is it really necessary to eat your snack during the proceedings?” presiding magistrate Corinne Goetzmann asked the star defendant on the first day of the “Tarnac trial” as he bit into a cereal bar.

The following day she gently reproached him for drinking the Latin American drink maté in court, informing him he did not have “a monopoly on irony” when he protested that she had said he had the right to drink during the trial.

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