Commentary No : 2014 / 63
2 min read

Maxime GAUIN

On April, 30, 2014, the appeal court of Versailles canceled the acquittal of two Armenian nationalists and sentenced them for death threats. The origin of the case dates back January 2012. At that time, Emine Çetin was one the main organizers of the Franco-Turkish demonstration against the Boyer bill, eventually censored by the Constitutional Council, which rules that this bill violated the freedom of speech. Mrs. Çetin received thirty insulting and threatening messages on her phone. She filed a complaint and the investigation revealed that the authors were two Armenians from Alfortville, a city of the Parisian suburb notorious for its big Armenian community and the strong presence of nationalist, violent elements (as late as April 1985, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation used physical violence in this town, even against other Armenian nationalists). However, on November 27, 2012, the two indicted Armenian nationalists, who did not even go to the courtroom, were acquitted, by lack of evidence. On December 4, the prosecutor appealed the decision, and the next day, Mrs. Çetin appealed, too.


In 2013, the appeal court ordered new investigations. The new findings added irrefutable evidence. Eventually, the two Armenian nationalists have been sentenced, one to six months of suspended jail, the other one to four months of suspended jail. In addition, they have to pay Emine Çetin € 5,000 as damages and € 2,000 as reimbursement of her lawyers’ costs; and € 120 to the tax administration as registration costs—7,120€ in total.


This sentence is the third legal victory against Armenian nationalists in France since 2010, after the conviction of Movsès Nissanian (a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) for insult against Maxime Gauin (now a researcher in AVIM), on April 27, 2010 and the one of Laurent Leylekian (executive director of the Dashnak European-Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy from 2001 to 2009), convicted on February 28, 2013, for defamation against Sirma Oran, the daughter of Baskin Oran: € 2,500 of suspended fine, € 90 to the tax administration, for the registration of the judgment, € 4,000 of damages and € 3,500 for lawyer’s costs. On January 16, Mr. Leylekian has lost in front of the appeal court. He was even sentenced to pay € 2,000 more for Mrs. Oran’s additional costs and € 120 more to the tax administration—€ 9,710 in total.

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