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France’s Interior Minister sues police for defamation

France’s Interior Minister sues police for defamation

By Staff Writer - July 25, 2016

Photo: France’s Interior Ministers Bernard Cazeneuve ©State Chancellery of Latvia

The furious row between Nice and Paris in the wake of the Bastille Day attack that took 84 lives has taken another turn for the worse with news that Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will sue the Municipal Police in Nice for “defamation”.

Local police official Sandra Bertin had claimed that she had come under undue pressure from the Interior Ministry to modify her report on the disposition of police personnel on the Promenade des Anglais on the night of the attack on July 14. The municipal police force had already declared its astonishment at the fact that the force was not recognised for the important part it played in minimising the severity of the massacre carried out by the Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. The municipal police had also claimed that Paris had asked for CCTV recordings to be deleted.

While Sandra Bertin – the officer in charge of video surveillance in Nice – has been strongly supported by local officials, the central government has rallied round the Interior Ministry.

On Monday, President Hollande tried to calm the storm by calling for dignity, responsibility and transparency. However, a lawyer acting for Ms Bertin has prepared a legal case against the ministry, saying that laws have been broken and the criminal justice system will find a case to answer.

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