French court overturns conviction of olive grower for helping migrants cross the border | News from the world

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A French court dropped all charges against an olive grower who had helped migrants enter the country illegally, the final chapter in a revolutionary case that defined the so-called “solidarity crimes”.

Cédric Herrou, who helped around 200 migrants to cross the border between Italy and the south of France, was sentenced to a four-month suspended prison sentence in August 2017.

He had brought destitute migrants home and set up a camp for them. He was also found guilty of accommodating around 50 Eritreans in an abandoned railway building.

France’s Constitutional Council later declared that Herrou’s actions were not a crime under the “principle of brotherhood” as enshrined in France’s motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The council, which assesses the validity of French laws, ruled that people could not be prosecuted for “crimes of solidarity”.

In December 2018, the Court of Cassation – the French Court of Cassation – overturned Herrou’s conviction and referred the case to the Lyon city’s appeals court, which said on Wednesday that all charges were void.

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