While she was the counsel for a man involved in the fatal brawl that took place in June 2020 in an apartment on rue Kellermann in the Sablon district of Metz, a Metz lawyer is suspected of having revealed information on the case. to another defendant who was then on the run. The investigation is entrusted to the Messina branch of the judicial police to retrace the thread of this dramatic evening during which Romain Schlick, 20, died under the violent blows of several individuals while he was quietly ending the evening with friends in an apartment. The investigators quickly realize that there are leaks in this file where several individuals, some of whom are notoriously known, will be arrested, with the assistance of the Raid, in the Messina agglomeration at the end of August 2020. Telephone tapping will come corroborate their suspicions.
Disorientated affair in Briey
In the spring of 2021, the PJ police officers informed Christian Mercuri, then public prosecutor, of their suspicions. The council is convened, a few months later, to the PJ of Metz to be heard there. Justice decides to pursue the facts and to disorient the file. It is before the judicial court of Briey, on April 11, that the lawyer will have to answer for “violation of professional secrecy”. Indeed, article 226-13 of the Penal Code provides that “the disclosure of information of a secret nature by a person who is the depositary of it either by status or by profession, or because of a function or mission temporary, is punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros”.
“The lawyer has the same rights as the litigant”
Contacted, Antoine Fittante, President of the Bar in Metz, explains that he has received “no official notification to date”. “A lawyer, if he does not have more rights than a litigant, does not have less for all that. And he is entitled to fundamental respect for the presumption of innocence. When a lawyer is implicated in criminal proceedings, you have to wait for the final decision after which everyone will take their responsibilities. If things have to be done, they are done on time and in the order in which they must be done. Once the lawyer has been criminally and finally judged, the question arises of referral to the disciplinary body for which there is no prescription. And the President of the Bar concludes: “We must also remember that, every day, within the framework of the permanence, colleagues play the role of sentinel and lookout for the defense of freedoms. Many of them walk through the courtrooms on a daily basis”.