10 Jul 2019

Disbelief in New Caledonia over Judes affair

1:08 pm on 10 July 2019

There is incomprehension in New Caledonia that the prosecution closed the case of alleged sexual abuse by France's former ambassador to Vanuatu Robby Judes.

Robby Judes

Robby Judes Photo: Facebook/ Silvia de Felix

The prosecutor said the ambassador's dismissal from his job was an appropriate response for what he had done.

The senior New Caledonian businesswoman Cherifa Linossier, who was the first to lodge a complaint against the diplomat, has told local television that she is heard of the decision through the media and is yet to be advised officially.

However, she said she is aware of the difference between an administrative process and a judicial process.

In response to the complaints, Mr Judes was summoned to the foreign ministry in Paris and dismissed.

In April, he was detained in Noumea for questioning but denied the claims, saying he might be the target of a plot.

Social media posts suggest that it is unbearable that the prosecution acknowledges an infraction and yet drops the case.

A Congress member Nina Julie said this outcome is unacceptable.

Law professor Mathias Chauchat said the matter is not necessarily closed because France's constitutional court has ruled that an administrative sanction is no reason to stop public action.

In February, Ms Linossier complained to the French High Commission that Mr Judes repeatedly accosted and touched her at a function which she attended in her role as the head of New Caledonia's Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises.

Ms Linossier said at the time that seven other women reported to her that they were also harassed by him.

Linossier chérifa tweet

Photo: Twitter/ Linossier chérifa

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