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First Facebook trial in Luxembourg
Luxembourg

First Facebook trial in Luxembourg

25.11.2013 From our online archive
A defamation case began on Monday, launched by a public figure who says he was unknowingly appointed administrator for a racist Facebook page and then publicly identified.

A defamation case began on Monday, launched by a public figure who says he was unknowingly appointed administrator for a racist Facebook page and then publicly identified.

The plaintiff brought the trial against an RTL journalist, who he alleges publicly identified him in connection with the site, leading to his dismissal from the Diekirch fire and rescue service.

He said that when the story broke in December 2011, the journalist never called him to check the information was correct before making it public and is claiming for damages and the reimbursement of his legal costs.

Representing the journalist, Pol Urbany said that his client never accused the plaintiff of being the site's instigator, only stating that he was listed as an administrator of the page on the social networking site. He added that the journalist never gave the full name of the Facebook page, referring to it only as a “racist forum”.

Mr Urbany went further and argued that the plaintiff must have been aware he was an administrator of the page since he had indicated his role in a document.

The day after the journalist published a report, the Facebook page was reportedly removed.

Mr Urbany quoted personal controversial posts published by the plaintiff relating to the provision of homes for asylum seekers in Luxembourg in which he had said their place was in the “gas chambers,” and signed off with a chilling “Heil Hitler”.

In the past, a handful of people have been convicted for incitement to racial hatred, Mr Urbany outlined, saying that his client should not be ashamed for having done his job conscientiously.

A verdict is expected to be delivered on December 16.

Translated from an article by Gilles Siebenaler