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Areva accused of corruption: Observatoire du Nucleaire non guilty of defamation

Published 21 January 2015

AFP Jan 21 2015 - Paris. The Appeal Court of Paris has found this Wednesday the président of the Observatoire Nucléaire, Mr. Stéphane Lhomme non guilty. He was accused by Areva of diffamation on corruption in Niger.

At the lower tribunal of Paris, he was found guilty and charghed to pay 1000 –Euros fine and ordered to withdraw both the statement of allegations and the publication of a legal communiqué on the site of The Observatoire Nucléaire.

On Dec 11, 2012, in a communiqué, the Association had reveiled the contribution of Areva on the Niger’s budget with 26 millions of Euros of which 15 millions were directly designated to buy the the plane for the Niger’s president Hamadou Issoufou.

‘’It was clearly a corruption game on both legal and moral aspects’’ accused the Observatoire du Nucléaire.

The following day, Zachari Oumarou the president of Democracy and Socialism Party of Niger ( in power ) had confirmed to AFP that Areva had decided to give an aid of 26 millions of Euros on the Niger’s budget, of which a portion was to buy the presidetila plane.

As Areva had denied this corruption allegation, it took the matter to court. Feb 7, 2014, the judges of the Paris Tribunal found that the use of the word corruption was not of prudence.

All the documents that Mr. Lhomme had presented had not given proof of alleged corruption ; and even of Areva buying a plane for the president of Niger.

The Observatoire du Nucléaire had found necessary to appeal to the higher court to oppose the previous sentence that had affected seriously the freedom of expression and the right to resist the negative impacts of the nuclear industry lobby.