New Caledonia: “Christian Tein considers himself a deportee” says Me Florian Medico, his lawyer in Montpellier

New Caledonia: “Christian Tein considers himself a deportee” says Me Florian Medico, his lawyer in Montpellier

Me Florian Medico, of the Montpellier bar: “It is very difficult to organize your defense in these conditions.” Midi Libre – FRANCOIS BARRERE

FREE MIDI INFO. The Kanak leader, head of the Field Action Coordination Cell (CCAT), suspected by the courts of being the instigator of the unrest which has left nine dead, including two gendarmes in New Caledonia since mid -May, is incarcerated in Mulhouse. Me Florian Medico, of the Montpellier bar, who defends him with Me François Roux and Me Pierre Ortet in Nouméa, was able to speak with him at length this weekend.

What is Christian Tein's state of mind, two weeks after his transfer to mainland France and his incarceration in Mulhouse ?

I spoke to him on the phone on Friday and Sunday. He is very humble and clear-sighted about the situation. Humble because he is driven by this fight that he has been waging for over twenty years for his community, because he is attached to his land, and because this fight takes priority over his personal situation. He is also very aware of the serious issues that concern New Caledonia. And even if he feels an injustice in what is happening to him, he respects the judicial institution, but he has understood that it is going to be a difficult fight.

What does justice blame him??

All actions likely to result from mobilization on the ground are attributed to him, in particular shootings at the police, described as attempted aggravated murder, the thefts and fires of May 12 and 13 on nearly of 900 companies. These are extremely serious facts, but he denies having given the slightest instruction in this direction. He denies any responsibility: the CCAT had on the contrary called for appeasement. He explains, without justifying it, that it is the frustration of the base which was thus expressed in a violent manner, by responding to institutional violence. He considers that the arrest of the CCAT representatives is a political operation, since no positive act of participation in these acts can be blamed on them.

Why this transfer to mainland France?

This is justified by justice by the risk of disturbing public order, and this is what affects him the most personally: being taken from his home, no longer of 17,000,000 km of his land. His partner was able to take the plane to visit him in Mulhouse, and we are awaiting authorization from the judge so that she can see him. But he was handcuffed and remained under surveillance throughout his transfer. Even if the prison administration is understanding, with completely correct support, he experiences this as a deportation, and considers himself a deportee, which is a political notion, and not a legal one. This is quite exceptional treatment, and I don't think it's legitimate.

How does the investigation take place under these conditions ?

For me, this is an anti-terrorist file which does not bear its name, for political reasons. It was the Anti-Terrorist Sub-Directorate (Sdat) which carried out the investigations on the ground, using anti-terrorist investigation methods, but we do not give this legal qualification so as not to lose control of the situation. Whereas we are dealing with people who are politically engaged, and who we are excluding from the game on common law grounds.

How will he defend himself?

In these conditions, it is difficult to organize your defense. He is in solitary confinement, which he understands, and he can easily telephone his lawyers. But we are moving towards remote interrogations with the judge, by video. For the moment his lawyers have not yet been able to have the file, which seems very voluminous, even though there is very important work to be done to demonstrate his innocence. We are waiting to be summoned to the judge so that he can speak, since he has remained silent until now, in the face of the institutional violence he has suffered . We are currently on a one-year criminal committal warrant, renewable every six months thereafter. We will fight to obtain his release. Christian Tein is ready to remain under house arrest in mainland France while the investigation progresses calmly.

What is his view today on the situation in New Caledonia ?

He remains more concerned about the situation there than about his own fate. He is very happy with the election of an independentist deputy in the legislative elections on Sunday (Emmanuel Tjibaou, son of Jean-Marie Tjibaou Editor's note), but looks with concern at the violence which resumed after his incarceration and that of his colleagues . He is very disappointed by the attitude of the government, even though he met Emmanuel Macron on May 25 during his visit to Nouméa. To ease tensions, according to him, a new agreement is needed to follow those of Nouméa. And he has a lot of hope on the new relative majority of left-wing forces coming out of the polls, and hopes that the future government will analyze the situation in New Caledonia with more balance and understanding. fairness.

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