The Advocate General, Agnès Cordier, asked for sentences ranging from eight to ten months suspended for six defendants, and a 12-month firm sentence for the seventh, already sentenced for other facts.

Requisitions which come “to confirm that it is a procedure where justice is used to undermine the opposition against nuclear power”, lamented Me Raphaël Kempf, one of the defendants’ lawyers.

The council denounced a “disproportionate deployment” of police and judicial resources “for a few minor offenses in the end”, and will plead for release with his three other colleagues who collectively defend the activists.

These opponents are retried in Nancy for possession of substances or products “in an organized gang”, “intended for the constitution of explosive or incendiary devices”, and organization of an undeclared demonstration in Bure (Meuse) on August 15, 2017. The One of them is absent from the hearing and was represented by his lawyer.

– “Nothing has been proven” –

A hearing which was “an opportunity to return to this long, sprawling judicial investigation” which had lasted three years and four months, and “which hampered many fundamental freedoms” of these seven activists, underlined Me Mattéo Bonaglia, a another of their lawyers.

An “intelligence file” where “nothing has been proven” pleaded Me Florian Regley, who swept aside the qualification of “organized gang”. “No project, no intention, and even less an organized thing have been brought to light in the file,” he insisted.

At first instance, in June 2021, the Bar-le-Duc criminal court sentenced two of the seven opponents to nine and twelve months in prison. The other four were given suspended sentences of six to nine months. All had appealed against their conviction.

Only one defendant had obtained a total release, the others having been simply released from the prevention of criminal association initially targeted. The Bar-le-Duc prosecution did not appeal this release.

“We can no longer say that all the people who had been indicted have directly or indirectly committed any criminal association”, thus greeted Me Bonaglia.

The proof for the Collective against the burial of radioactive waste (Cedra) that the file “never stops deflating”, noted its spokesperson, Juliette Geoffroy.

– Right to silence –

The President of the Court of Appeal, Vincent Totaro, read for long minutes the report of the facts of the investigators, who had tried to establish the links between the various protagonists and their involvement in the organization of this August demonstration. 2017.

He then wished to question the appellants on their respective personal situations, but all asserted their right to silence. They had also used it during their custody, their hearings before the investigating judge, and during the trial at first instance.

Due to the silence of the defendants, there were no hearings on the alleged facts, and the trial, initially scheduled until Wednesday, will end on Tuesday.

The demonstration of August 15, 2017 was one of the many episodes of a long-term protest against this project, baptized Cigeo, of a highly radioactive waste storage center in Bure, on the borders of the Meuse and Haute-Marne. .

Led by the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste (Andra), this controversial project aims to bury, 500 meters underground, 85,000 m3 of the most radioactive waste from the French nuclear fleet, by 2035-2040.

In July, this project was declared of public utility by decree, but opponents filed an appeal in September with the Council of State.