Itinerary of two journalists, convicted of getting helped jihadists | EUROtoday

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VSIt was neither actually a secret, nor a matter publicly debated within the editorial places of work. Édith Bouvier and Céline Martelet, impartial journalists who collaborate or have collaborated with quite a few media (BFMTV, RMC, Mediapart, France Inter, MariannePolitis in addition to Point), appeared on the finish of January earlier than the 16e chamber of the Paris Criminal Court, specializing in terrorism instances, with ex-lawyer Bruno Vinay.

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The three had been accused of financing terrorism (article 421-2-2 of the Penal Code), an offense punishable by as much as 10 years in jail and a high-quality of 225,000 euros. On January 23, the prosecutor requested fines of a number of thousand euros in addition to 5 years suspended sentence towards the lawyer, ten months towards Édith Bouvier, 44 years previous, and twelve months towards Céline Martelet, 44 years previous, suspended of their case additionally. The courtroom adopted its requisitions.

In the chaos of Mosul

The backdrop of the case is the tip of the battle of Mosul, in Iraq, in 2017. French individuals who left to combat on the facet of the Islamic State group discovered themselves caught within the final pockets of resistance of the caliphate, attacked by troops Iraqi regulars. Me Vinay makes an attempt to exfiltrate Maximilien Thibaut, a convert, member of the Nantes Islamist group Forsane Alizza, in addition to his spouse Mélina Boughedir and their 4 youngsters.

This includes sending cash offered by the jihadist's relations in Iraq, with the goal of corrupting a number of Iraqi troopers. To do that, the lawyer will contact Édith Bouvier and Céline Martelet. Both ladies have strong business expertise and on-the-ground contacts.

Édith Bouvier narrowly escaped loss of life in Syria in 2012. With Céline Martelet, she wrote a e-book entitled A scent of jihad in 2018 at Plon, devoted to the journey of the wives of jihadists. In this work, they cite a sure “Marni”, whose profile corresponds in each approach to that of Mélina Boughedir: “a French woman who followed her husband in October 2015”, who “lived with her four children the last hours of the “Islamic State in Mosul”. The authors say that the young woman and her children were flushed out in their hiding place by soldiers from the Iraqi counter-terrorism brigade. “To deliver them? To finish them off? » Probably for a fee (but the book doesn't say that!), everything works out. “Quickly, they brought him food and drink. His nightmare is over. » Maximilien Thibaut was never found. He is considered to have died in combat.

An affair quickly spread

“It is the story of a loss of bearings and a deviation,” summarized prosecutor Benjamin Chambre in his indictment. “The protagonists, flattered by having a certain media spotlight, blinded by the emotional ties they have or think they have with the young people in the area, lose all distance, all lucidity. »

The affair quickly became known. At the beginning of 2019, Bruno Vinay was suspended by the Paris Bar Association, at the request of the investigating judges. Indicted and placed under judicial supervision, he could hardly plead. He left the profession.

There is no order of journalists. No disciplinary action was taken against the two investigators, who continued to work. In June 2018, Édith Bouvier covered the trial of Mélina Boughedir in Baghdad for the Swiss newspaper The weather. She obviously had privileged access to the accused, through her lawyers. In 2019, she covered another trial of jihadists in Baghdad, for Point.

Mélina Boughedir was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She was not a lost young girl and even less a pure idealist. According to the American Associated Press, citing Iraqi sources, Mélina Boughedir was part of the Islamists' moral police, responsible for ensuring that not a lock of hair stuck out.

At the same time, young women were reduced to the state of sexual slaves, amid general indifference. “In the civil war in which French women participated,” write Édith Bouvier and Céline Martelet, “Yezidi women experienced an ordeal, literally reduced to slavery,” together with in Mosul, the place they had been “raped, mistreated, starved.” “. “Strangely,” they add, none of the French women “we asked about sex slaves answered our questions…”

Mélina Boughedir, a mother and a fanatic

The two journalists do not hide the fact that they were in favor of the repatriation of French jihadist women. Furthermore, remarkably informed, they intended to contribute to the return of a fanatic who, by their own admission, had spoken to them more about cooking recipes than politics. At no time “did we give our opinion, make a moral judgment”, they defend themselves, “because our objective was more prosaic: to listen and transcribe, to try not to get involved”. On this last point, the least we can say is that the roadmap has not been respected.

Before the legal courtroom, the 2 accused agreed that that they had stepped out of their function as journalists, however they deny any crime. “They made a mistake, but it is absurd to say that they financed Daesh,” defends Renaissance MP Éric Bothorel. “I know Céline Martelet well, her commitment against terrorism is beyond doubt. »

Giving the benefit of the doubt, with their knowledge of the field, the two interested parties continued to publish. The last article by Céline Martelet on Mediapart dates from March 11, 2024. Édith Bouvier signed in Marianne until April 2023. “When we learned of his legal challenge, we stopped this collaboration. We no longer work with her,” the weekly reviews. As of Monday March 25, France Inter eliminated a problem of the present from its podcasts Interception directed by Céline Martelet, as a result of her conviction. Through their lawyer, Me Marie Dosé, they introduced their intention to attraction. “In their place,” feedback connoisseur of jurisprudence on terrorism, “I might suppose. In the primary occasion, they did comparatively properly. »