Five journalists, two from the French sports daily L’Equipe and three from the weekly Le Point are free as charges of illegal possession and concealment of confidential documents in connection with an investigation of the Cofidis team have been dropped. In Nanterre, the court found no evidence but rather allegations based on “mere suspicion”.
Basile Ader, representing the journalists said, “Despite that difficulty, the court’s decision is still a pleasant surprise” and further stated that it was not certain whether his clients had actually obtained and concealed the documents making conviction a highly remote verdict.
The court nevertheless, did not rule on Basile’s motion regarding the charge of “concealment” is a violation of government suppressing the freedom of the press as per Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The five journalists were indicted in October 2006 for possession and concealment of documents relevant with the Cofidis team’s investigation in 2004 involving its connection with doping network.
In April 2004, the two publishing outfits reproduced transcripts of police wiretaps and interrogations with members of the team. In January 2005, the police conducted a raid on both publications taking files and computers allegedly as part of the investigation.
Via Velo News