A political scandal at the helm: the Russian artist Piotr Pavlenski and his companion Alexandra de Taddeo will be tried in corrections in Paris, suspected of having broadcast sexual videos in mid-February 2020 which had led to the fall of the tenor of the majority Benjamin Griveaux.
Piotr Pavlenski, 38, and Alexandra de Taddeo, 31, will appear for “invasion of privacy”, according to an order signed Monday by two magistrates and whoseAFP became aware on Tuesday. They are suspected of having recorded and then broadcast on the Internet these intimate videos, which had caused a political scandal.
The impact of their dissemination had also been “very difficult and very violent” for his professional and family life, said Benjamin Griveaux, 44, in January 2021 before the investigating magistrates.
Former Secretary of State, government spokesman and deputy, he withdrew his candidacy for mayor of Paris just after the broadcast of the videos, then gradually abandoning his political career to convert to entrepreneurship.
An “artistic and militant” approach
Known for having cut off a piece of his ear, nailed his testicles in Red Square in Moscow or having burned down the facade of a branch of the Banque de France in Paris in 2017, Piotr Pavlenski, a political refugee in France since 2017, claimed his approach, presented as artistic and militant, under the slogan “pornopolitics”.
The editing of these videos, sent by Mr. Griveaux to Mrs. de Taddeo during their brief relationship, between May and August 2018, had been published briefly for the first time on a blog on February 1, 2020, then a second time, with a strong impact, on February 12 on a “pornopolitics” site created by Mr. Pavlenski.
In the wake of the broadcast of the videos and their incredible arrest in Paris, the couple had been indicted on February 18, 2020.
In their order, the judges note that both Piotr Pavlenski and Alexandra de Taddeo “acknowledged” having deliberately recorded these images, Ms. de Taddeo explaining that she kept them as “proof” of her relationship with the ex-minister.
The judges, on the other hand, cast doubt on Alexandra de Taddeo’s assertions that the dissemination of the images “would have been carried out by her companion without her agreeing, or even without her having been informed beforehand” .
They rather retain “her direct involvement” in view of “several factual elements”: the financial support of an association that she chaired at the pornopolitics site, but also messages supposedly written by her or attributed to her relatives at the time of the outbreak of the scandal.
Me Juan Branco cleared
Following the opinion of the public prosecutor, the investigating magistrates, on the other hand, definitively exonerated Me Juan Branco, one of Mr. Pavlenski’s lawyers, although they considered that “he probably played an active role in the dissemination of the impugned videos”. Placed under the intermediate status of assisted witness in 2021, “the investigations did not make it possible to precisely determine his participation”, concede the judges, deploring that the lawyer has “refuged behind (his) status” as counsel for Mr. Pavlenski “for refusing to answer questions”.
This trial is not the only one that Mr. Pavlenski will have to face: he will also be tried for “violence with a weapon” committed during New Year’s Eve 2020 in Paris in a private party in the upscale district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés .
For Piotr Pavlenski, requested by theAFP, this decision “was absolutely expected for me because +Pornopolitique+ is my work of art, and as an artist, I put my signature on it. “And since the value system of contemporary art is in conflict with the value system of the penal code, then by signing my work of art, I have signed my verdict in advance,” he said. added.
Solicited, the counsel of Benjamin Griveaux, Me Richard Malka, did not wish to react.
Alexandra de Taddeo’s lawyer, Me Noémie Saidi-Cottier, spoke of a decision “without much surprise (…). We are therefore awaiting the trial so that we can finally discuss his involvement in the charges against him and assert our means of defence. “.