Europe 1 with AFP 10:50 p.m., January 17, 2022

The mayor (ex-LR) of Nice Christian Estrosi, sentenced at first instance for defamation of a Nice academic involved in an association to help migrants, was released on appeal on Monday.

On April 23, Christian Estrosi was sentenced for defamation of a Nice academic who came to the aid of migrants.

Christian Estrosi, mayor (ex-LR) of Nice, sentenced at first instance for defamation of a Nice academic involved in an association to help migrants, was released on appeal on Monday, we learned from a judicial source.

On April 23, Christian Estrosi was fined 3,000 euros by the Nice Criminal Court for defamation of Pierre-Alain Mannoni, a Nice academic who came to the aid of migrants, whom he accused of "favoring the work of passers".

Migrants sheltered at the Franco-Italian border

"Some jihadists pretend to be migrants (...) How can these individuals (Editor's note: like the geographer Pierre-Alain Mannoni) certify to us that they are not bringing terrorists to our soil by breaking the law like do they do it?”, wrote Christian Estrosi on Twitter, denouncing a 2017 court decision which had released the academic. On Tuesday, the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal "reversed the first instance judgment and acquitted Christian Estrosi", his lawyer Me Gérard Baudoux told AFP. The general prosecutor's office of Aix-en-Provence confirmed this release to AFP, which however could not consult the judgment.

Contrary to the fake news that some spread, it is with satisfaction that I learned of the judgment rendered by the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal which reversed the judgment and pronounced my pure and simple release. in the case which pitted me against an academic from Nice.

— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) January 17, 2022

In a message on Twitter, Christian Estrosi reacted by indicating that he had read "with satisfaction" the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which "reversed the judgment and pronounced my pure and simple release".

Along with the farmer from Breil-sur-Roya, Cédric Herrou, Pierre-Alain Mannoni is one of the first activists prosecuted by the authorities from 2016 for helping migrants at the Italian border.

The geographer had briefly hosted three Eritrean refugees in a disused French holiday center, before driving them by car to an SNCF station towards Marseilles where they were to be cared for by associations.

Caught in a legal turmoil that lasted four years, Pierre-Alain Mannoni was finally released on October 28, 2020. The geographer had subsequently attacked the mayor of Nice for defamation.

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