In episode 2 of the “Jean-Marie Le Pen, l’obsession nationale” podcast that Philippe Collin devotes to the former leader of the National Front, posted online at the end of February, historian Benjamin Stora can be heard saying: “Jean -Marie Le Pen probably did not practice torture in Algeria. »

Words that do not pass for historians André Loez and Fabrice Riceputi, who were moved by it on Twitter. For Florence Beaugé, who worked on the issue of torture in Algeria for years at Le Monde, it’s “a shame”: “Le Pen finds himself cleared of the accusation twice. On the one hand by Benjamin Stora, on the other hand by Philippe Collin, who innocently swallowed the snake. Le Pen did participate – and actively! – at the Battle of Algiers. »

Recall that when Florence Beaugé released her investigation in 2002 in Le Monde, Le Pen spoke of “filthy machination”, and initiated legal proceedings against Le Monde. Trial that he will lose on appeal: the investigation of Le Monde will be described as “particularly serious and thorough” by justice, and “the good faith” of the newspaper recognized.

“To be more explicit”

Since Thursday, March 9 in the morning, here is what we can read by clicking on the page of episode 2 of the series that Philippe Collin devotes to Jean-Marie Le Pen on France Inter: “In episode 2 of our series dedicated to Jean-Marie Le Pen, and in agreement with the historian Benjamin Stora, we have decided to clarify his point about Jean-Marie Le Pen and torture in Algeria. We had initially used the formula “Jean-Marie Le Pen probably did not practice torture in Algeria” but we finally made the choice to use the following words to be more explicit: “We cannot prove that Jean -Marie Le Pen tortured in Algeria but it is a possibility.” »

This modification sheds light on the approach of a historian whose work consists in relying on archives (administrative records, military files, etc.) which constitute evidence. And this, without calling into question the investigations of journalists like Florence Beaugé, who themselves rely on Algerian testimonies accusing Jean-Marie Le Pen of having practiced torture. Note that in 2005, justice ended up dismissing Jean-Marie Le Pen in his complaint for defamation against Madame Beaugé and the newspaper Le Monde. Moreover, as Benjamin Stora asserts, Michel Rocard was indeed convicted in 1992 for defamation after accusing Jean-Marie Le Pen of having practiced torture in Algeria. It should be added that in 1997, the Rouen Court of Appeal ended up dismissing Jean-Marie Le Pen. »

“They did the minimum service!” »

For journalist Florence Beaugé, this nota bene on the France Inter site is not at all satisfactory: “They did the minimum service! Philippe Collin proves himself right in this way. The podcast is still online, clearing Le Pen. It is not this semblance of rectification that will repair the damage. »

For Benjamin Stora, contacted by telephone, “the important thing for me was not to say whether Jean-Marie Le Pen had tortured or not. What interested me was the fabrication of the narrative of himself during the Algerian war, how he fabricates a character to appeal to his far-right electoral clientele. I may have made a mistake, I should have said that Le Pen tortured, as witnesses told Florence Beaugé. I did it in good faith, like a historian who has not seen written records. Thursday, March 9, he sent us this message: “I had a long talk last night with Florence [Beaugé] and told her that I made a mistake: Le Pen tortured in Algeria, I did not know the court decision . »

For his part, Philippe Collin, who claims to be supported by his management and does not feel at fault, spoke by telephone and with Florence Beaugé and with Benjamin Stora. And so wrote this nota bene and added what in the jargon is called a “patch” to this second episode. Philippe Collin now says in the podcast: “We cannot prove that Jean-Marie Le Pen practiced torture in Algeria but it is a possibility. In any case, Jean-Marie Le Pen justified torture. He can therefore be considered a torturer in the eyes of the international convention against torture. He adds that Florence Beaugé’s articles published in Le Monde have been linked on the site. A patch that Florence Beaugé finds largely insufficient: “It should be said: ‘Until proof to the contrary, he tortured.’ “.