March 27, 2023
Sketches of the hearing of the thirteen members of the Barjols appearing before the Paris Criminal Court for terrorist criminal association, on January 17. BENOIT PEYRUCQ/AFP

STORY – The trial in Paris of thirteen activists from this small group highlights both their identity obsessions and the weaknesses of the prosecution. The hearing again raises the question of when opinions violently expressed, but without acting out, come under the jurisdiction of the courts.

On the first day of the trial, January 17, the only Barjol still detained enters the box like a real terrorist, flanked by two hooded policemen. A day or two later, the escort’s balaclavas fall off. The following Tuesday, Mickaël I. was released by the XVIe correctional chamber after fifty months of pre-trial detention, the opportunity to note the existence of a carpentry error: the box in room 2.03 does not have a door communicating with the courtroom, so that the free man did not have been able to sit among the other defendants only after three quarters of an hour. A little comical but above all heartbreaking, this waterproof box justice.

The Barjols trial continues until Friday. The room where it takes place is probably these days the least secure of all the Paris court. However, the thirteen defendants respond to association of terrorist criminals (AMT), an offense punishable by 10 years in prison; the original lawsuits were for an alleged…

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