Published: 12 Oct 2012 16:29 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 12 Oct 2012 16:29 GMT+02:00
French prosecutors said Friday they will appeal the acquittals and light sentences handed down to 14 men accused of repeatedly gang-raping two teenage girls in a run-down Paris suburb.
The court decision on Wednesday sparked widespread outrage in France, with one feminist group saying it sent a "catastrophic message" that rape is permissible.
Ten men were acquitted in the case while four defendants were handed down sentences ranging from one year in prison to three years suspended for raping one victim, identified only as Nina, now aged 29.
Prosecutors had called for eight of the accused to be given sentences of between five and seven years. They made no sentencing recommendations for the other six accused.
"The verdict is too far from the prosecution requests, both on the sentences given and certain acquittals. It does not take into account how the crimes were committed," said Nathalie Becache, chief prosecutor for the Paris suburb of Creteil.
She said the verdict also did not take into account the "particularly serious physical and mental damage" done to the two victims.
The two victims said they had seen a "judicial disaster" after the verdict in the attacks, committed in the poverty-stricken housing schemes of Fontenay-sous-Bois between 1999 and 2001.
They said they were repeatedly raped in sordid places -- in basement cellars, stairwells and car parks. One of the victims said she was a virgin when she was first attacked one night when she was returning from the cinema.
French prosecutors investigating corruption are set to decide on Thursday whether to charge IMF chief Christine Lagarde over her handling of a row that resulted in a €400 million payout being paid to disgraced businessman Bernard Tapie. READ () »
France is to call for the military arm of Hezbollah to be added to an EU terror blacklist due to its backing of the Syrian regime, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on Wednesday. READ () »
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was evacuated for the second time in two days on Wednesday when a topless feminist staged a mock suicide in front of the altar the day after far-right historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the church. READ () »
France is to shell out millions of euros on increasing security around its embassies in Africa and the Middle East, the French foreign office announced on Wednesday. The move comes after a car bomb attack on its Libyan embassy last month. READ () »
There is no egalité when it comes to France’s ruling class, which is dominated by an elite clique where a ‘jobs for the boys’ culture prevails, argues British author Peter Gumbel in his new book. Here he tells The Local how this elitism is holding France back. READ () »
Boos rang out at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday for a blood-spattered revenge tale starring Ryan Gosling as a US fugitive running a Bangkok drugs racket and Kristin Scott Thomas as a cross between "Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace." READ () »
The fight by French workers against Britain-based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has inspired a new online game in which strikers can attack police. The game is called "Kill Mittal", despite its creators insisting it is not designed to incite violence. READ () »
French police fear a gang of robbers is specifically targeting wealthy women in Paris after the second victim in a matter of weeks was kidnapped and forced to hand over tens of thousands of euros worth of valuables. READ () »
The French President François Hollande’s bid to clean up French politics suffered an early setback on Wednesday when one of his parliamentary deputies was jailed for misappropriation of public money. READ () »
The French government is planning a controversial change in the law to allow more university courses to be taught entirely in English, in a bid to attract foreign students. Author Frederic Werst, one of a group of writers against the project tells The Local why the idea is "deluded". READ () »