France: Ramadan postpones trial

The lawyers of a suspected robber believes that the observance of the ritual fast places their client in a position of "physical weakness".   Lawyers defending crime victims denounce an 'absurd' decision.

The order simply mentions that "in view of proper administration of justice," the trial concerning several robberies committed at Rennes and St. Malo (north-western France) in 2000 and 2001 is postponed to Jan. 19th, 2009.  However, according to several lawyers from Rennes, this postponement is because the accused observes the traditional Muslim fast of Ramadan.

According to the request for postponement that they've written, "the dietetic constraints and the cultural obligations that it imposes" on their Muslims client, who would "already see 14 days of fasting" at the start of his trial - which should take place on Sept. 16th - hinders the power to defend him adequately.

Anger from lawyers defending crime victims.  Pierre Abegg, lawyer of several of them, thinks the postponement is "absurd, it's the first time that we see it in France, we aren't in a secular Republic anymore."  Dominique Briand was also upset with this decision, saying it "opens the door to undesirable things."

Source: Figaro (French), h/t Fdesouche

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