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Prosecutor admits tweeting in court

France's High Judicial Council to rule on whether magistrate should stay in office after using social media during case

A DEPUTY prosecutor who sent messages from court via Twitter during a criminal hearing could be removed from office.

For the first time in its history, the High Judicial Council was called to rule on the use of social media by officers of the court, in the case of a prosecutor who had tweeted during a hearing in November 2012 in Mont-de-Marsan.

According to AFP, the magistrate, who still works as a deputy prosecutor in Mont-de-Marsan, admitted tweeting 20 messages during the hearing.

But, he said, he only tweeted information that would not have a bearing on the outcome of the trial.

He said he had taken care not to tweet anything that could identify the case or the court in which it was heard, and had made no comments about the facts of the case.

Chancellery representative Valerie Delnaud requested the magistrate be removed from office, saying that the case had “disastrous consequences for the image of justice”.

But the prosecutor defended his action.

He said: “I've always been hurt by the criticism made ​​on judges, representing as isolated in their ivory tower ( ... ), operating like robots. I felt it useful to show that it was not than that.”

Ms Delnaud told he hearing there may be some doubt as to “the awareness of the seriousness of the facts” by the magistrate, who demonstrated, she said, “disrespect” towards the court and the French legal system.

The High Judicial Council will deliver its ruling on April 29.

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