A sentence of four months in prison and a 9,000 euro fine.
In Monaco’s Criminal Court on Tuesday 25 October 2022, the police officers’ lawyer put it plainly: “Foreign visitors are welcome in Monaco, but they must respect our country and its authorities! Disrespect was shown for the uniform as well as those who wear it,” he said, pointing to the two young policemen in front of him. The officers filed a complaint, and this was the first time they had undertaken this kind of procedure. “It was the repeated insults that prompted us to take action,” they explained on the stand.
The incident took place on 26 June at around 5.30am. The receptionist at the Port Palace Hotel on Avenue Kennedy in Monaco contacted the police because of a disruptive and visibly intoxicated individual, who had eaten at the Beefbar and visited the Rascasse. At the scene, the police handcuffed the man who had become uncontrollable and verbally abusive. “Sons of b*tches, you f*ckers, it’s not your job I want, it’s your lives!”, the judge quoted out loud.
Once on Sureté Publique (Police Department) premises, he repeatedly banged his head on the walls, prompting the police to call the fire brigade. They took the man to the CHPG, where the abuse continued in the presence of hospital staff. “Unacceptable humiliation”, according to their lawyer.
While the young man’s Monegasque criminal record was previously clean, his French and Belgian records were much less so. In fact the defendant – who was absent at the trial – has been convicted more than a dozen times, notably for contempt of a person in authority. “This is therefore not an isolated incident,” said barrister Sosso, who stressed that the police need our support. “They are important for the security of Monaco, the peace and attractiveness of the Principality.”
In line with the prosecutor’s request, the court sentenced the Belgian to four months in prison and a fine of 9,000 euros. He was also ordered to pay 800 euros in damages to each of the police officers.