Emmanuel Macron portrait smashed by protestors in Poitiers
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Emmanuel Macron mandated a Parisian law firm to file a complaint against Michel Ange Flori, originally from the Var, and behind the posters depicting the President of the Republic as Adolf Hitler. The posters, which appeared in the southern city of Toulon, showed Macron dressed as the Nazi leader with text beneath reading: “Obey. Get vaccinated.”
An investigation is already underway, opened for “public insult” by the Toulon prosecutor’s office on Tuesday, July 20.
“I seized the departmental security of the Toulon police station as part of a preliminary investigation”, Toulon prosecutor Bernard Marchal told AFP, specifying that the qualification retained could change.
The author of the posters must be heard today, July 29 at the police station.
Flori’s lawyer, contacted by France Bleu, affirmed the young man would appear, specifying that “the poster is excessive and that is the principle of the caricature.
“But it is not offensive.”
“I was surprised and shocked,” Flori told a local paper, after being summoned by police over the incident.
“They confirmed that there had been a complaint from the Elysée,” he added, referring to the French President’s official residence.
He later tweeted: “In Macron-land, showing the Prophet’s rear is satire, making fun of Macron as a dictator is blasphemy.”
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He was referring to controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by the Charlie Hebdo magazine prior to a deadly gun rampage by terrorists in Paris in 2015.
Flori operates some 400 billboards in the southeastern Var region of the country, according to the report.
He said he has created around 100 provocative banners, but insisted he is exercising his right to freedom of expression.
In 2019, the BFM TV channel had already obtained a conviction against Flori for a poster titled “The police speak to you every day on BFMTV”.
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He had pleaded “the right to parody and freedom of expression” as his defence.
Argument not accepted, he had been sentenced to a fine of €32,000 for infringement of trademark rights.
Flori told local media he would be serene in the face of his convocation.
In the present case, he risks a fine of €12,000, for the alleged public insult of the President of the Republic.
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