French town hall worker fined for insulting minister

30th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Damien Chiboub, 25, was sacked as a computer technician in the town hall of seventh district of Paris, where Dati is mayor, after admitting creating an email account based on a vulgar phrase personally insulting to the minister.

Paris -- A French municipal worker was slapped with a suspended 1,000 euro fine on Wednesday for "insulting a public official" after he sent an email attack on Justice Minister Rachida Dati to a colleague.

Damien Chiboub, 25, was sacked as a computer technician in the town hall of seventh district of Paris, where Dati is mayor, after admitting creating an email account based on a vulgar phrase personally insulting to the minister.

From this address, he sent a fellow staff member a mail reading: "Useless, useless, useless, the people will get you!"

Dati, as mayor of the seventh district, is Chiboub's boss.

Prosecutor Francoise Champonneaux had sought a suspended one-month prison sentence, and dismissed the defence case that Chiboub had been testing the limits of free speech when sent his critique from the offending address.

"It was a fairly gratuitous insult," she told the court. "If he is disappointed with politicians, he should join a pressure group or a party."

Defence counsel Gilbert Collard had argued that the case should be thrown out for unavoidable conflict of interest as Dati, as justice minister, is the employer of the judge overseeing the case.

The court rejected this argument.

AFP/Expatica

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