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Return of political files or simple “management tool”? Representatives of the Ministry of Justice acknowledged, this Monday, before the administrative court, the existence of a nominative file, in Lille, of people placed in police custody during the mobilization on pensions.
The court was examining two applications for interim relief filed by the Association for the Defense of Constitutional Liberties (Adelico) and the Syndicate of Lawyers of France, as well as by the League for Human Rights (LDH) after a Mediapart article denouncing such filing. The judge is due to rule Thursday on its legality.
“Monitoring of criminal proceedings”
This is an Excel spreadsheet, called “Monitoring of criminal proceedings – pension reform movement” detailing the surnames, first names, dates of birth of people placed in police custody during the demonstrations, and the criminal consequences given.
According to the ministry, this file is authorized by the decree governing the Casiopée database, which brings together in secure software the data of defendants, victims or witnesses of legal proceedings over the past ten years.
The spreadsheet examined “simply brings together the procedures related to the same event, which Casiopée does not allow to do in real time”, and contains “no other information” than that authorized in this database, detailed, at the hearing, a representative of the ministry.
It was a “tool for local management”, he assured, specifying that it was not the chancellery which “gave this instruction”. This “allows the management of a particular event” with a high “volume of police custody”, explained another representative, referring to the existence of other files of this type in other cities.
A few dozen people potentially on file
By gathering personal information, the prosecutors “have allowed themselves to add a major piece of data: a political opinion”, all these people having protested against the reform, objected Jean-Baptiste Soufron, lawyer for Adelico and SAF. “It is not authorized” and “it amounts to filing political opponents”, he denounced.
“If the goal is only statistical, why keep identifying data, and not be satisfied with an investigation number”, put forward the lawyer of the LDH, Marion Ogier. According to her, a few dozen people have potentially been on file, 50 to 100 arrests having taken place in the jurisdiction of Lille since March 17. This is the date on which the file seems to have been created following the hardening of the mobilization after the use of 49-3.
The prosecutor of Lille and the public prosecutor of Douai, also targeted by the appeals, were neither present nor represented at the hearing.