Marc Ernst not prosecuted for charges brought against him as result of (compounded) criminal complaints of Ludo Pyis/Areopa and Yves Panneels
On 24/9/2009, The Court of Appeal of Brussels (Chamber of Indictment) declared the appeal of Areopa/Pyis to be admissible but unfounded.
So doing, the Court upheld the previous decision of the Court of First Instance (Council Chamber). In its judgement of 8/5/2009, the Council Chamber of the Court of First Instance of Brussels dismissed all charges against Marc Ernst with respect to the (compounded) criminal complaints of Areopa/Ludo Pyis and Yves Panneels: slander, violation of the privacy of the post, stalking, dissemination of incorrect information and violation of the Fair Trading Act.
In keeping with their reputation of waging virtual legal procedural war, Areopa/Ludo Pyis filed a further appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal. With a probability bordering on certainty, the Court of Higher Appeal, which concerns itself solely with formal requirements and questions of procedure (and not with the facts of the matter), shall uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal (and therefore not overturn it) because all of the formal requirements and rules of law were, indeed, applied correctly.
Areopa/Ludo Pyis have previously failed in summary hearings in order to have articles/blog postings by Marc Ernst that were displeasing to them taken offline.
The same result obtained with respect to their request to the Court for additional investigations. That was denied in both the First Instance and in appeal on grounds of ‘not being necessary in order to ascertain the truth’.
The Court of Appeal supported its decision as follows: “Whereas the investigation has shown that Mr Ernst acted solely with the journalistic intent of publishing relevant information; The malicious intention, which is an essential moral component of the crime of slander, has not been shown; The information was disseminated after a reasonable check of the sources and with due regard for the prescriptions with respect to journalistic deontology; pursuant to subsequent investigation by Mr Ernst, the allegedly incorrect information did not appear to be incorrect; Whereas there is therefore no objection against the defendant; Whereas there is therefore cause to uphold the decision of the Council Chamber at issue.”
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