Jean is not at his first attempt. After accusing a police officer on Facebook of being the cause of the death of his dog Malek in the summer of 2019, he had to answer in court for written threats against this pandora. But on November 16, 2022, the Court of Appeal concluded that the threatening writings uttered on Facebook by the SDF proceeded from the press offense, punishable by the Assize Court, within the meaning of Article 150 of the Constitution.
This Thursday, Jean was again cited before the criminal court of Mons, as well as his brother and his mother, for written threats (the brother), harassment (the three) and slander, this time against the veterinarian Catherine Dufrane, alias Dr Cath on RTL-TVI. This is a civil party, represented by Me Karim Itani.
The two episodes are linked. In July 2019, the police arrested Jean. This one affirms that on this occasion, a police officer would have carried a violent kick with the hindquarters of the dog. The dog will be cared for by veterinarian Catherine Dufrane. She did not diagnose trauma following a blow, but rather anal cancer then parvovirus infection, followed by hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. The dog dies within an hour of the final consultation.
Very flowery, the messages reproached this Thursday to Jean and his family towards the veterinarian are serious. Jean and his family were also trying to accumulate testimonies against the veterinarian, just to damage her reputation. The vet had also received death threats. Let us quote for example: “You will pay for the death of Malek, we will not forget you. »
Assizes = no sanction?
It must be said that most of the debates revolved around press offenses – or not. If this is the case, the criminal court must declare itself incompetent: the three defendants would be liable to the assize court. The date for a trial would be illusory… And therefore, insists Me Itani, “it would amount to institutionalizing the absence of sanctions against the defendants”.
In agreement with Me Itani, Céline Carrette considers on behalf of the prosecution that the defendants are guilty of threats, harassment and slander: she requires 6 months against Jean’s brother, and 3 months against Jean and his mother (suspended sentence for each).
Lots of Facebook comments
On the defense side, Mes Christelle Umugwaneza, Pol Descamps and Maïté Buidin retort that they see this as a press offence. Among other arguments as to the merits of the case: by RTL, the veterinarian had become a public figure, even a star with a Facebook wall; by these accusations by the SDF, she would reap what she sowed. And end the bullying…
But on Facebook, the messages went in all directions and many people published comments much more slanderous than the three defendants: they are however not prosecuted! It is argued that the homeless, frustrated by her grief, just wanted to know why the veterinarian had been suspended in 2016. The reason is her TV intervention as a veterinarian. Not for having failed in the exercise of his profession!
It is an acquittal which is requested in the alternative. Judgment in a month. If the court finds a press offence, Jean will have his second criminal victory. Unless he ends up in the Assize Court to answer for two press offences…