The leader of rebellious France Jean-Luc Mélenchon was sentenced on Wednesday by the Paris Court of Appeal for defamation of a former journalist from Le Monde, whom he accused in 2018 of having contributed to the arrest of a militant against the Chilean dictatorship.

The former presidential candidate had written in February 2018 on Facebook a message accusing the journalist Pablo Paranagua of having “swung” an ex-militant against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), before being arrested then torture.

“It was Paolo Paranagua who swung it? Solidarity with the victims of Latino dictators”, had then published on Facebook Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

At first instance, the criminal court had not recognized the defamatory nature of the comments published by Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

In the judgment consulted by AFP, the Court of Appeal this time indicated that “these remarks, even expressed in doubtful form with a question mark at the end of the disputed sentence, nevertheless clearly insinuate that Paulo Paranagua could help make this political activist a victim of dictators”.

Paulo Paranagua’s lawyer, Me Vincent Tolédano, denounced to AFP reproaches without “any kind of foundation” and “totally imaginary”.

Sentenced to pay a symbolic euro in damages to the journalist specializing in Latin America, Jean-Luc Mélenchon will also have to compensate the victim up to 2,000 euros for legal costs.

Mr. Mélenchon did not appear before the judge in connection with this case.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also the subject of another complaint by Paulo Paranagua, whom he described as a “repentant assassin” on his blog “The era of the people” in 2016.

Sentenced at first instance, Mr. Mélenchon’s lawyers appealed the judgment.

Paulo Paranagua had also attacked Mr. Mélenchon for the absence at the time of legal notices on the site, indicating that this had prevented him from assigning the former deputy for civil defamation.

06/29/2022 19:22:20 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP