French courts are in chaos amid an unprecedented revolt by the judiciary, taking a stand against criticism from Nicolas Sarkozy.
All but urgent hearings have been halted in dozens of tribunals nationwide over presidential remarks that have made judges and magistrates livid.
Sarkozy slammed the legal system after a teenager’s murder, allegedly by a repeat offender not properly monitored after release from prison.
But resources are lacking, according to leading investigative magistrate Renaud Van Ruymbeke, echoing colleagues’ claims that their work is hindered by a shortage of funds and staff.
It is Sarkozy’s comments over the killing of 18-year-old Laetitia Perrais whose dismembered body was found in western France that have caused an uproar.
“Those who covered up or allowed this error to happen will be punished,” he said.
The chief suspect in the murder is a serial offender who spent 11 years in jail before being released in February last year, apparently without adequate supervision.