On 17 March 2016 at the Palais de Justice in Paris was held the trial on appeal of Mr. Paul-Eric Blanrue and Professor Robert Faurisson. Paris's criminal court had invalidated the earlier conviction on procedural grounds. The prosecution has appealed and is prosecuting the two men for the film Un homme: Robert Faurisson répond aux questions de P.-E. Blanrue, which Mr. Blanrue directed and is suspected of having published on the Internet, and wherein Professor Faurisson speaks out about the charge of “disputing crimes against humanity” (the Gayssot Law).
Although about a hundred people arrived to support Robert Faurisson, only twenty were able to enter the courtroom because of the small size of this particular one. Did that happen by chance, or by a deliberate act of the authorities? In any case your reporter will have the honor and the privilege of being able to attend this trial of the century.
Here is a synopsis of the proceedings.
It is after 1:30 in the afternoon and the last members of the public are seated in the courtroom where the magistrates are already present. After several minutes some shouts and some applause are heard from the corridor; the clerk seems exasperated and comments on it. The door opens and Robert Faurisson and his attorney make their entrance. This will be only a dress rehearsal however, since they immediately go back outside to await the arrival of the attorney for Blanrue.
The trial, scheduled for 1:30 PM, is delayed by about 30 minutes because the attorney for Blanrue is late. Finally he arrives and the “show” can begin.
Mr. Blanrue is not present at the trial, above all for reasons of safety, as his attorney explains to the court. The filmmaker's defender constructs his defense around the lack of details in the indictment, since “the prosecutor's office does not explicitly indicate the forbidden utterance.”
Robert Faurisson is being prosecuted in this matter as an accomplice. The female president of the tribunal quotes his utterances, some of which, for example “reconstruction of crematoria for tourists and pilgrims,” make the audience laugh. Then she invites Professor Faurisson to speak, posing the question, “You deny, but what is it that happened?”
It is to be noted that the other judges seem to be dozing in their chairs. A young, round-cheeked female employee of the state, however, seated next to the judges, not wearing a toga and of unclear status, will sometimes appear to follow the professor's words with interest. We wish for her only one thing, that she get her act together and not slide into doubt.... There are already far too many clients at the employment center....
Robert Faurisson asks how much time has been designated for him to speak. The president of the tribunal answers “30 minutes.” Faurisson then says that he needs two hours. An animated exchange ensues between him and the judge, and she finally gives in, allowing him the amount of time that he will consider necessary to present his explanation, while insisting that he should summarize his positions.
The professor begins his presentation by declaring, “Throughout these proofs, I have taken care not to engage in denial.” He then lists the three documents presented to the court for his defense.
Continuing, he says:
“We denounce the excesses…. The deportations, the camps … are a reality. There were in fact crematoria.”
He thus proceeds with a long and complete exposition of all his findings, an exposition that we are sadly unable, for legal reasons, to reproduce (again) here.
Despite the suggestion of the president of the tribunal that he sit down, the Professor will pronounce his long tirade standing, ramrod straight, from the beginning to the end. He will not hesitate to point his finger at the president of the tribunal and to address her forcefully when she interrupts. When this happens he will say straight to her face, “Madame, right now you are not listening to me!” It is hard to believe that this man has experienced his 87th birthday. His memory is excellent and his qualities as an orator are beyond doubt. He cites all the protagonists in his account, carefully spelling their names. He firmly believes all that he says and nobody present in the courtroom would have dared to question it, not even the president of the tribunal.
In the course of explaining what led him to undertake his researches, he confesses his shame about the German victims at the end of the war and says (in English), “... I have to be a gentleman.” Thereafter he passes from French to English and from French to German whenever it seems necessary for imparting greater precision to his argument, without ever omitting to translate word for word into the language of Molière. Regarding the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, he will say: “This trial is a disgrace!”
He quotes the American prosecutor Robert Jackson, from the same Nuremberg Tribunal, who said about it:
“... [T]his Tribunal is a continuation of the war-effort...." (IMT transcript, 26 July 1946)
Regarding the honesty of his approach Professor Faurisson will add: “Not even once have I been caught in dishonesty!”
A good hour passes and the president of the tribunal asks the professor to conclude by giving his view on the figure of six million victims. There again, it is unfortunately impossible for us to quote his words.
Robert Faurisson will have had the opportunity to present practically all his findings before the court; he gives a masterful exposition. It was almost surreal to be able to hear such remarks before an assembly of magistrates.
The floor is given to the prosecution, which at no time offers any proof of the inaccuracy of the Professor's words, and merely states the fact that the Holocaust was disputed, and that it was done intentionally. The prosecutor requests a suspended sentence of imprisonment for the two defendants.
The floor was then given to Mr. Viguier, Esquire, who cleverly decides to give it to Blanrue's attorney, who asks that his client be released due to “lack of legal grounds.”
Damien Viguier, Esquire, then concludes this episode, which will undoubtedly be engraved in the annals of the history of Law, and of History with a capital H – two disciplines whose aim is discovery of the truth, or whatever best approximates it. His pleading centers on his client's intention. That is to say, he argues that the Professor's intention was not to deceive, that his approach was honest, and thus, according to existing case-law, this man cannot be prosecuted for his conclusions.
The verdict will be announced on 19 May.
Faurisson gives a media interview after the trial.
Statements by defense lawyer Damien Viguier after the hearing:
Testimony of the only illustrator present at the hearing:
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Robert Faurisson in "The Trial of the Century", Translated from a Report in French by Joseph Navratil|
|Sources:||Dossier spécial : Le procès du siècle, published 18 March 2016 by LaPravda.ch, http://lapravda.ch/index.php/2016/03/18/dossier-special-le-proces-du-siecle/|
|First posted on CODOH:||March 20, 2016, 7:26 a.m.|