Paris (AFP)

Liberation continued its transparency operation on its past tolerance towards pedophilia on Friday, confirming that a pedophile had been part of its writing in the 1970s and 1980s, a story unveiled several years ago but that the newspaper did not had not yet dared to approach.

The newspaper’s fact-checking section, Checknews, devoted a long article posted online Friday to the case of former journalist Christian Hennion, who died in 1999, after receiving several inquiries from readers asking whether the newspaper counted well in his ranks a pedophile.

In 2009, Franck Demules had revealed in a book, "Un petit tour en enfer", that the journalist, who was his tutor, had abused him between the ages of 10 and 18, from 1977 to 1986.

If this book met with a strong media response when it came out, the newspaper had so far refrained from mentioning this affair, when it would have had several opportunities to do so.

The newspaper had in particular published a great investigation in 2001 in its columns on "its culpable treatment of pedophilia", by quoting all the articles, going back for the majority to the years 1980, which legitimized the sexual relations between adults and children.

And the outbreak of the Matzneff affair three weeks ago led the newspaper to make another act of contrition, but without mentioning the case of Christian Hennion.

In its edition of December 30, the daily published a file devoted to Gabriel Matzneff, targeted since by a preliminary investigation for rapes on minors of less than 15 years after the exit of the book of Vanessa Springora, The Consent, in which the editor tells how she was seduced by the writer at the age of 13.

In this file, the director of the publication of Liberation Laurent Joffrin had once again expressed his regrets for the past attitude of the newspaper, and recognized that formerly the daily newspaper "welcomed within it a certain number of militants who claimed their taste for the sex with children. "

"Liberation, child of May 1968, at the time professed a libertarian culture directed against the prejudices and the prohibitions of the old society", he had explained, underlining that that carried "often on just causes" but also led to promoting "sometimes very condemnable excesses, such as the intermittent apology for pedophilia, which the newspaper has taken a long time to banish".

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