Sentenced overturned in French railways trial

27th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - A French appeals court on Tuesday overturned a conviction handed down on the state rail company SNCF for its role in the deportation of two Jewish men during World War II.

BORDEAUX, France, March 27, 2007 (AFP) - A French appeals court on Tuesday overturned a conviction handed down on the state rail company SNCF for its role in the deportation of two Jewish men during World War II.

The administrative court of appeal in the southwestern city of Bordeaux decided that the case was outside its jurisdiction.

SNCF's conviction last June by an administrative court in Toulouse was seen as a landmark ruling and triggered some 1,800 similar requests for compensation.

The case centred on a suit brought by the family of Green party deputy Alain Lipietz, whose father and uncle were taken by train to an internment camp in Paris in May 1944. They both survived the war.

SNCF was ordered to pay 62,000 euros (83,000 dollars), but lodged an appeal.

Previous attempts to condemn the SNCF in criminal and civil courts having failed, the case rested on claims that the French state authorities, the police and the SNCF neglected their duty to provide services to citizens.

Administrative courts in France judge suits brought against the state.

But the appeals court said Tuesday that SNCF is a legal entity in its own right, and therefore subject to the normal justice system.

The Lipietz family said it will now take the case to the State Council in Paris, which acts as France's highest administrative court.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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