On 7 May 2008, the chambre correctionnelle of the Court of Appeal of Fort-de-France acquitted the defendant of migrant smuggling, specifically “assisting in the illegal transit and stay of foreigners in France”. The court of Appeal of Fort-de-France considered inter alia:
- The acknowledgement of paternity is not an offence and the fact that it may be false does not integrate the objective elements of the crime of migrant smuggling;
- The migrants in question are Haitian children that have benefited from a declaration of paternity by a French national, whereby no procedure had been triggered to annul such false acknowledgment of paternity;
- The corresponding documents allowing the regular entry and stay in France had not been invalidated.
- France is party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, according to which minors may not be expelled from the country and shall benefit from the assistance and support of the State.
The Public Prosecutor appealed.