In an unprecedented case, a woman from northern France is set to face trial for allegedly insulting President Emmanuel Macron on social media.
The incident occurred when the woman referred to Macron as “filth” in a Facebook post. If found guilty, she could be slapped with a hefty €12,000 fine, although jail time is not on the table. The trial is scheduled to take place in June.
The woman’s arrest took place last Friday, following a complaint filed by the local administrative office in response to her Facebook post.
Saint Omer prosecutor Mehdi Benbouzid confirmed the arrest and provided details to AFP. The Facebook post in question was published on March 21st, a day prior to Macron’s televised interview with TF1, where he defended his contentious pension reform plans that have incited protests across the nation.
In her Facebook post, the woman had written, “This piece of filth is going to address you at 1:00 pm… it’s always on television that we see this filth.” The accused, a woman in her 50s, was an active participant in the “Yellow Vest” demonstrations that challenged Macron during his initial term in office.
Charged with “insulting the president of the republic,” the woman is set to stand trial in Saint Omer on June 20. Speaking with the regional newspaper La Voix du Nord, the woman expressed her disbelief at the accusations, stating, “They want to make an example of me.”
Identified as Valerie by the newspaper, she recounted her shock upon discovering that police officers had arrived at her home to arrest her. “I asked them if it was a joke, I had never been arrested,” she said. “I am not public enemy number one.”
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