The Advocate General thus asked the Paris Court of Appeal to confirm the judgment at first instance. MM. Lombard and Louis-Pierre Wenès had also been fined 15,000 euros, also required on Friday.

In 2019, in an emblematic trial of suffering at work, they were released for the facts after 2008, a partial release which was also requested on Friday.

According to the prosecution, the two leaders had “made moral harassment an industrial, human resources tool”, in order to obtain, via the Next plan presented in 2006, the departure of 22,000 employees and the mobility of 10,000 others, without proceeding economic layoffs or put in place an economic safeguard plan.

The management of the company, privatized in 2004 and which is now called Orange, “knew that it would not be able to carry out the Next plan without moral harassment”, the objective of which was “unachievable”, and that this plan would cause “breakage” among the employees, supported the public ministry.

The “management was aware that it was breaking the law” and maintained its policy “at all costs”, until the crisis broke out in broad daylight in the summer of 2009, despite numerous internal complaints and alerts issued by trade unions on the social consequences.

The cases of 39 employees were examined: 19 committed suicide, 12 attempted to do so and eight experienced an episode of depression or a work stoppage over the period 2007-2010.