France

Trial of former French Foreign Legion chief postponed

Retired French General Christian Piquemal makes an address during a PEGIDA-organized protest on 6 February, 2016.
Retired French General Christian Piquemal makes an address during a PEGIDA-organized protest on 6 February, 2016. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

The trial of the former chief of the French Foreign Legion, General Christian Piquemal (75), who took part in a banned demonstration in Calais over the weekend has been postponed. The state prosecutor for the Boulogne-sur-Mer area, which encompasses Calais, said on Monday that the postponement was for health concerns for Piquemal. 

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“General Christian Piquemal will not appear today because of his health” the prosecutor said in a statement.

He added that Piquemal had complained on Monday morning that he was not feeling well and had been taken to the hospital in Calais where he was examined. His condition was not “compatible” with a trial, AFP news wire reports.

His trial will now take place on the 12 of May. In the meantime, he is free to return home, the prosecutor added.

The other four people that were arrested with him will, however, still appear in court.

Piquemal, who led the Legion between 1994 and 1999 was arrested after addressing a banned meeting of supporters of Pediga, an extreme right-wing anti-immigrant movement, based in Germany, but with a branch in France.

Calais authorities had banned the Pegida [Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident] protest, but the group took to the streets anyway.
 

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