Piotr Pavlenski, a Russian artist and activist who came to prominence for setting fire to the Banque de France in 2017, claimed Friday that he was the source of the publication of Benjamin Griveaux's intimate videos. The former government spokesperson, following the dissemination of these images, decided to abandon the race for mayor of Paris. While his lawyer intends to file a complaint against Piotr Pavlenski, Juan Branco, who defends the Russian artist, affirms at the microphone of Europe 1 that the gesture of his client is a political act.
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"Fully aware of the risks"
Piotr Pavlesnki faces up to two years in prison and a 60,000 euro fine for relaying these videos. "I tried to make sure he was fully aware of the risks he was facing and the information he gave me seems to indicate that he was," said Juan Branco, also legal counsel to Julian Assange, at the microphone of Europe 1.
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The far left lawyer, close to the Yellow Vests, who notably wrote the anti-Macron Crépuscule pamphlet, claims that sharing these videos has political significance for his client. "Piotr Pavlenski saw a French politician exposing his privacy in glossy newspapers and trying to extract voices through a propaganda operation in Closer or Gala, " said Juan Branco. "This propaganda operation was based on the instrumentalization of the values of fidelity and family. Piotr Pavlenski wanted to denounce the tartuferie of a politician who did not do what he said".
"As long as politicians play on this, they should expect to be exposed to actions that contradict their word," warns Juan Branco, who is also known to have, in October 2018 "outraged" Gabriel Attal, by revealing his homosexuality on social networks. Will there be other videos and photos posted by Piotr Pavlenski? "This is what he announced. It is the word of my client, I leave him the responsibility for this fact", concludes Juan Branco.