POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

French court softens Cattenom activist sentences



Cattenom nuclear power station is located in France, around 15 kilometres from the Luxembourg border Julien Becker/archives

Cattenom nuclear power station is located in France, around 15 kilometres from the Luxembourg border Julien Becker/archives

Greenpeace Luxembourg welcomed an appeal court ruling dismissing prison sentences against its protestors at Cattenom nuclear plant, but lambasted the sentencing of a member for complicity.

“This is a serious attack on our freedom of expression. We are looking into the possibility of filing an appeal in cassation,” Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigner for Luxembourg and France Roger Spautz said in a statement regarding the Greenpeace spokesman on nuclear campaigns Yannick Rousselet.

The Metz Court of Appeal issued its ruling on Wednesday regarding eight activists and one Greenpeace employee after they broke into the nuclear power plant close to the French-Luxembourg border in October 2017.

The stunt aimed to denounce what the organisation describes as security failings and the risk they pose in such a setting. Protestors released fireworks from within the perimeter of the plant.

In February 2018, the Thionville Correctional Court issued sentences ranging from five months’ suspended imprisonment to two months’ imprisonment. The director of Greenpeace France, Jean-François Julliard, was fined €20,000, according to Paperjam. On Wednesday, the Metz appeal court judge downgraded the suspended sentences to “day fines”.

Spautz said the not-for-profit would examine the possibility of filing an appeal in the court of cassation regarding the sentence issued to Rousselet.

Furthermore, he implied the organisation would continue to take action that would test or expose security failings at the EDF-managed site. He said: “As long as EDF and the state have not taken the necessary measures to ensure our safety, we will continue to play our role as a whistle-blower.”