€1,000 in fines for having insulted a man of "dirty Haitian"

On November 27th, 2016, H.M left an evening at Orient Bay aboard his SUV. While he wants to go to the main road to get out of the park, a security guard in front of a chain stops him. Indeed, the union restaurants owners’ regulation allows access on this lane only to residents between midnight and three o’clock in the morning as not to disturb the neighborhood; therefore, other motorists are advised to leave through the gate of the Galion.

Stucked in front of the chain, H.M gets upset. According to M.H, the security guard demonstrated stupidity by preventing him to go through. Two of his passengers are residents of Orient Bay and he must drop them off 25 meters away, but this issue requires him to make a detour of four kilometers. Therefore, he goes after M.H. and insults him. “Haitian, nigger, you're a donkey, you will be working your entire life for 1,200 euros per month. Go back and die in your country”, he says. H.M was summoned this Thursday, May 18th before the Criminal Court of Saint-Martin for public insults of a racial nature. “Everyone knows me* and knows that I have a coarse language. I was angry,” he defends himself. “I am a soccer fan. If I had called him a f***** from Marseilles I would not be in front of you?”, he asked the Court.

In his indictment, the Vice Public Prosecutor, Michael Ohayon, says a little later: “No, you will not have been prosecuted if you had called him, to use your words, a f***** from Marseilles or asshole”. And explains the difference between contravention insults and insults of racial nature, which constitute an offense.

The victim, M.H, filed a civil lawsuit but is not requesting damages. “I don’t have any interest in money. I am young, I can work. It's a matter of respect,” says M.H before requesting that the defendant apologizes to him in “a sentence including a subject, verb and object.” Otherwise, he will ask 3,000 euros in damages. The defendant apologizes but does not acknowledge the racist nature of his remarks. His apologies are accepted by the victim. After deliberation, the Court sentenced H.M to a 1,000 euro fine.

*He is Marketing Director on the Dutch side and was fifth on a list in the territorial elections of last March.

Fanny Fontan