Arras attack, arrest in Cannes, Benzema and the Muslim Brotherhood… Does Gérald Darmanin communicate too much and too quickly?

The Minister of the Interior’s communication on social networks or in the media in recent days is considered by some to be hasty and anxiety-provoking. Latest example: Gérald Darmanin’s tweet on Karim Benzema.

Footballer Karim Benzema announced on Thursday October 19 that he would file a complaint against Gérald Darmanin for false information and public insults. In a publication on X on Wednesday evening, the Minister of the Interior accused him of being “in notorious connection with the Muslim Brotherhood movement”. “False, purely opportunistic approach”answers the 2022 Ballon d’or.

Before that, it was a publication by Gérald Darmanin about an event in Cannes which caused a lot of talk: Wednesday evening shortly before 9 p.m., the minister wrote: “In Cannes, courageous police officers from the BAC have just arrested a very dangerous man carrying a knife who had wanted to attack an individual, they avoided the worst”. The “worst”: in the context we think of a terrorist attack with victims. Update, Thursday morning, from the LR mayor of Cannes David Lisnard: he denounces a media and political excitement “grotesque”, of the “sensational interpretations” after the arrest of a man who “threatened a shopkeeper with a knife.”

Arras: the minister denied by the anti-terrorism prosecution

Last week, after the arrest of the alleged assassin of Professor Dominique Bernard in Arras, Gérald Darmanin explained in the 8 p.m. news on TF1 that “According to his information, there is a link between the action in Arras and what happened in the Middle East.” Elements ultimately denied by the national anti-terrorism prosecution, last Tuesday when this man was indicted.

This same Friday, October 13, it was the President of the Republic who, in Arras, spoke of another foiled attack: an attempted attack, explained Emmanuel Macron, had taken place at the same time as the events of Arras, but this time in Limay, in Yvelines. In fact, the man arrested in Limay was sentenced in immediate appearance to six months in prison for carrying a prohibited weapon. He had been arrested in possession of a knife not far from a high school, a common law offense and not an act of terrorism.

This sometimes hasty communication from the president or the Minister of the Interior concerns certain magistrates. It even shocks Cécile Mamelin, the vice-president of the Union of Magistrates: “It is absolutely not the right timing to create a sort of psychosis, to suggest that we have foiled attacks when in reality it turns out that these are facts which have not been at all the nature of the attacks. This all-out communication possibly harms the quality of the investigation, because it is likely to not respect the presumption of innocence and especially the secrecy of the investigation.”

“Normally, judicial communication is reserved, by law – this is article 11 of the Code of Criminal Procedure – to the public prosecutor. It is damaging that politicians rush to reveal information. It is a a drift against which we must fight.”

Cécile Mamelin

at franceinfo

When questioned, the Ministry of the Interior replied that the facts mentioned by Gérald Darmanin are only accurate facts. Regarding Cannes on Wednesday, the only goal would have been to restore calm, with strictly accurate facts described there too. By speaking regularly, Gérald Darmanin responds “to the concerns of the French and reassures them, in the current anxiety-provoking context, said those around him again. It’s normal let him answer their questions.”

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