Philippe Karsenty, the French media activist who has battled France 2 for several years over accusations that the infamous tape of the “death” of Muhammad Al-Dura is a hoax, says he will not find an appeals court ruling June 26 affirming his conviction for defamation.
Instead of using the French legal system, which he regards as corrupt, he says he will find other ways to promote the truth about the Al-Dura story, using media and political pressure on the French government.
Karsenty had won an earlier appeal, after the appeals court was shown raw footage that impugned France 2 and journalist Charles Enderlin, including a portion at the end that appeared to show Al-Dura alive, and which Enderlin had edited out of the final video.
That appellate judgement was canceled by France’s highest court, the Court de Cassation, which held that the appeals court should not have admitted the raw footage into evidence.
Following a remand to the appellate court, Karsenty’s conviction was upheld. In France, truth is not a defense against defamation. The key is what a defendant knew at the time, not what the facts actually are.
Karsenty told Breitbart News that he has no plans to appeal the ruling back to the Court de Cassation, because it will not reopen the evidence in the case. And winning, he says, is not the point.
“When I won in the Court of Justice, even the State of Israel did not take it seriously and I was not taken seriously by the State of Israel. So winning the case does not help me.”
What is essential, Karsenty says, is that he was able to use the judicial process to “debate” France 2 and to force the truth of the Al-Dura incident into the open–even if that evidence was later disallowed.
Indeed, the State of Israel concluded in a recent inquiry that Karsenty was correct, and that journalists had perpetrated a “misleading and mendacious” hoax that had inspired violence against Israel and Jews.
The final verdict was postponed twice–under political pressure, Karsenty suspects. He was “shocked,” he says, by the outcome, and says that the monetary damages of 7,000 euros were especially punitive.
The Al-Dura video, he says, remains “an antisemitic blood libel.”
Karsenty is now considering a move to the United States. “Now the free world has to engage France,” he says.