16 Jul 2019

Civil suit an option in New Caledonia assault case

6:01 pm on 16 July 2019

New Caledonia's public prosecutor says a woman whose sexual assault complaint was thrown out can lodge a civil suit.

Robby Judes

Robby Judes Photo: Facebook/ Silvia de Felix

Cherifa Linossier reported in February that the French ambassador to Vanuatu Robby Judes had repeatedly touched her at a function.

Mr Judes was subsequently dismissed as ambassador, which the prosecutor said was punishment enough.

The prosecutor met Ms Linossier yesterday after a women's group held a rally outside the court in Noumea in support of victims of sexual assault.

He told local television that while he was not infallible, there could have been an error, which means that she could also try to challenge the decision with a magistrate.

Her lawyer says there is a risk of a precedent being set in which a dismissal replaces action to be taken under the criminal code.

Mr Judes has rejected the accusations, saying he might be the target of a plot.

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