On August 28th 2008, Mr. Herve Eon is arrested by plainclothes police officers while holding a placard during a visit of the French president Sarkozy at Laval. The placard was quoting an infamous sentence (“casse toi pov’ con“) pronounced by the president at the agricultural fair on February 23th 2008. The applicant was nevertheless charged for “offending the president“, a criminal offense punished with a fine of up to 45,000 euros (art. 23 of law of July 24th 1881).

On November 6th 2008, he was condemned to a suspended fine of €30 by the tribunal of first instance of Laval. On March 24th 2009  the appeal court of Angers ruled the same judgment after one of the judge presiding the appeal court, asked the applicant if he would apologize to the president for a reduced sentence. His appeal to the supreme court failed.

On November 5th 2009, Mr. Herve Eon announced that he will fill his case with the E.C.H.R arguing that his condemnation is a violation of article 10 of the Convention. He is represented by Me Dominique Nogueres also vice-president of the NGO LDH. She didn´t reply our emails after first accepting to answer our questions.

On June 25th 2002, the E.C.H.R ruled in case Colombani and others v. France (51279/99) that France violated article 10 of the Convention by condemning Mr. Colombani and Le Monde under the criminal offense of “offending a foreign head of State” (art. 36 of law of July 24th 1881). In the resolution CM/ResDH(2008)8, the committee of ministers closed the examination of the case, after having being informed that the article 36 of law of July 24th 1881 was repealed by article 52 of law 2004-204.

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