NYTimes' Nice Truck Attack Story Quoted Lawyer who Said he represented Driver (But didn't) - iMediaEthics

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Nice, France (Credit: Tobi87/Wikipedia)

The New York Times quoted a French lawyer who said he once defended the Nice truck driver who killed more than 80 people on Bastille Day. But, that lawyer, Corentin Delobel, did not represent the driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, according to the Nice Bar Association.

iMediaEthics has written to the lawyer and the head of the Nice Bar Association to learn more, but the Times‘ editor’s note explains that the association’s director, Jacque Randon, disputed Delobel’s claims that he represented the driver in a previous incident.

The Times added an Aug. 17 editor’s note to its July 16 front page story, “A Surly Misfit with no Terror Links Turned a Truck into a Tank,” which quoted Delobel. It reads:

“An article on July 16 about Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Tunisian man who drove a 19-ton truck into a crowd of Bastille Day celebrants in Nice, France, killing more than 80 people, quoted from a French TV interview with a lawyer, Corentin Delobel, who said he had represented Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel in an assault case involving a motorist. After the interview aired, Jacques Randon, the head of the Nice bar association — who appoints lawyers for defendants in criminal cases who cannot afford one — said Mr. Delobel did not in fact represent Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel in the assault case. The article also misstated the year that Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel assaulted the driver. It was this year, not last.”

NewsDiffs, which tracks changes to news articles on the websites for the Times’ and others, shows the article originally said:

“The lawyer who defended Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel in last year’s assault case, Corentin Delobel, described his former client as ‘a classic delinquent’ in an interview with France’s BFM televisions news channel.”

BFM TV’s article still features the interview with Delobel. iMediaEthics has written to BFM TV to ask if it will correct or add an editor’s note.

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NYTimes’ Nice Truck Attack Story Quoted Lawyer who Said he represented Driver (But didn’t)

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