Lyon: Accused of having defamed Benzema by caricaturing him alongside jihadists, far-right activist released

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TRIAL Damien Rieu faced a fine of 10,000 euros for posting a photomontage of the Ballon d'or in 2020


Karim Benzema filed a complaint for defamation against Damien Rieu after the publication of a photomontage caricaturing him alongside Islamist fighters. The latter was acquitted on Tuesday by the Lyon criminal court. — AFP

The prosecution had requested a fine of 10,000 euros. Sued for defamation after posting a tweet showing Karim Benzema alongside jihadists, Damien Rieu was attacked. relaxed this Tuesday by the Lyon criminal court. A decision which immediately welcomed everyone. the far-right activist.

« I have just won my trial against Benzema and his Islamist compromises, immediately posted: interested party on X. And drive the point home: “The court recognized that I had every right to denounce the Islamic ambiguities of the Ballon d’or.”

In 2020, Damien Rieu, whose real name is Damien Lefèvre, published a photomontage, in which we saw the footballer pointing a finger at the sky; next to it Islamist fighters, accompanied by from the following comment: « I think Benzema wants to send us a message».

« An aberration »

The Lyon criminal court estimated that that this message, even defamatory in terms, could benefit from good faith, which leads to acquittal in press matters.

« Granting good faith to Damien Rieu, it's an aberration, reacts the player's lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, to exiting the courthouse. We have the right to make fun of Karim Benzema, (…) to have an opinion different from his, but to associate him with a terrorist, ça, we have no right. » The latter announced that he was going to appeal this decision.

Insinuating a proximity to between the footballer and jihadists “constitutes an insult to “with regard to those who fight against Islamist terrorism, and those who have suffered from it in their flesh,” he then recalled. the prosecutor, Alain Grellet, during the hearing last June.

For his part, Pierre-Vincent Lambert, Damien Rieu's lawyer, maintains that his client had “the basis factual to write what he wrote. The “factual basis”? A «like » that Karim Benzema asked in favor on Twitter under the account of an athlete from Dagestan who had qualified cartoonists “enemies of Islam”, he recalled; during the hearing.