LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP
Former government spokesperson and candidate for La République en Marche (LREM) in the 2020 Paris mayoral election Benjamin Griveaux during his announcement of his withdrawal from the mayoral campaign on February 14, 2020.
JUSTICE – The question of a trial had been pending since the spring. Two Parisian investigating judges finally decided on Monday to send to court the Russian artist Piotr Pavlenski and his companion Alexandra de Taddeo, suspected of having broadcast in 2020 videos of a sexual nature of the ex-tenor of the majority Benjamin Griveaux, learned AFP this Tuesday, September 6 from a source familiar with the matter.
Piotr Pavlenski and Alexandra de Taddeo will appear before the Paris Criminal Court for “invasion of privacy”. They are suspected of having recorded and then broadcast on the Internet these intimate videos which had led to the withdrawal of the former minister from the race for municipal elections in the capital, just a few weeks before the ballot.
The broadcast of these videos had caused a political scandal. But it had also been “very difficult and very violent” for the professional and family life of Benjamin Griveaux, had declared the person concerned in January 2021 before the investigating magistrates. A former secretary of state and government spokesman, he gradually gave up his political career.
In the wake of the broadcast of the videos and their incredible arrest in Paris, Piotr Pavlenski, 38, and Alexandra de Taddeo, 31, were indicted on February 18, 2020. The Russian artist, a political refugee in France since 2017, claimed to have broadcast and edited the videos that Benjamin Griveaux, 44, had sent to Alexandra de Taddeo during their brief relationship, between May and August 2018.
Known for having cut off a piece of his ear, nailed his testicles on Red Square in Moscow or having set fire to the facade of a branch of the Banque de France in Paris in 2017, Piotr Pavlenski had claimed his approach, presented as artistic and activist, under the slogan “pornopolitics”.
Juan Branco definitely exonerated
The editing of the videos had been published briefly for the first time on a blog on February 1, 2020, then a second time, with strong repercussions, on February 12 on a site “pornopolitics” created by Mr. Pavlenski.
In their order, of which AFP learned on Tuesday, the judges note that both Piotr Pavlenski and Alexandra de Taddeo have ” recognized “ having deliberately recorded these images, Alexandra de Taddeo explaining to keep them as a precautionary measure in order to ” prove “ their relationship.
On the other hand, the judges cast doubt on the assertions of Alexandre de Taddeo according to which the dissemination of the images “would have been carried out by her companion without her consent, or even without her having been informed beforehand”and retain instead “his direct involvement” in view of “several facts”.
Following the opinion of the public prosecutor, the investigating magistrates definitively exonerated Me Juan Branco, one of Mr. Pavlenski’s lawyers, although they believe that“he probably played an active role in the dissemination of the contentious videos”.
See also on the HuffPost : In “Five years”, Benjamin Griveaux evokes the affair of the sextape for the first time