Juan Branco

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Juan Branco
2019 - Centre Stage - Day 2 VJR21625 (49024215596).jpg
Born (1989-08-26) 26 August 1989 (age 30)
NationalityFrench, Spanish
EducationÉcole normale supérieure (Paris)
Home townParis, France

Juan Branco (born 26 August 1989 in Spain) is a French lawyer, writer and political activist.

He was identified as a Yellow Vest defender and one of the French Assange lawyers. He defends some of the Yellow Vests in court and the movement in the media. His 2019 book, criticizing the links between President Emmanuel Macron, the media and wealthy businessmen, was a success on the internet before being sold to 130,000 copies. He gained supplementary notoriety in France in early 2020 for his involvement in the Griveaux affair.

Early life and education[edit]

Branco was born in Estepona, near Málaga. He is the son of film producer Paulo Branco and became a French citizen in 2010.[citation needed]

He studied philosophy and law at the École normale supérieure. He became politically active as a student, when he protested French copyright law HADOPI.[1] In 2016 he concluded his postgraduate studies, during which he focused on the Germain Katanga ICC's case,[2] and was awarded a Doctor of Law. He continued his academic work as a visiting researcher at Yale Law School and Sapienza's University of Rome.[citation needed] He worked as a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International Law from 2015 to 2016.[3]

Political activism[edit]

As a student Branco actively supported right-wing former prime-minister Dominique de Villepin, a friend of his mother's.[4]

Afterwards he supported The Greens (France) and then went on to participate in the campaign of future President François Hollande. He worked several months for future French Minister of Culture and Communications Aurélie Filippetti. Filippetti later stated that he "demanded to be hired as her chief of staff at age 22", that he "completely lost it when he was refused the position" and told her that he recorded their conversations. She describes him as "dangerous, intelligent and skillful", as "megalomaniacal, a compulsive liar and very, very manipulative".[5]

Branco went on to join the left-wing populist party La France Insoumise. He stood in the 2017 French legislative election for Seine-Saint-Denis's 12th constituency where he placed fourth. His former running-mate stated that Branco "wanted to win a parliamentary seat and abandoned the party after the loss".[4] After he was refused a sufficiently high spot on the electoral list of La France Insoumise in the 2019 European Parliament election in France his support for the party ended and he called for an abstention in the election.[5][6]

He became a vocal supporter and lawyer of the Yellow vests movement[7] and a critic of President of France Emmanuel Macron thereafter.[8]

In 2018 he outed the homosexuality of his former class-mate Gabriel Attal on Twitter.[9]


He worked as a legal adviser to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, trying to help obtain asylum for Assange in France.[10][11]

In 2016, before he was admitted to the bar and legally permitted to practice law, he solicited Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the group directly involved in the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 (in which 130 people were killed and 683 others were injured), proposing in a letter to help in his legal defense and claiming to be representing Julian Assange.[12][13] One of the French lawyers representing Abdeslam characterized Brancos actions as attempted fraud.[14]

After his admission to the Bar of Paris, he represented Jean-Luc Mélenchon beginning in 2017. His work with Mélenchon ended in 2018 for unknown reasons. He has also represented his father Paulo Branco against Terry Gilliam in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote case.[15]

He briefly worked as an independent expert for the United Nations in 2018, where he has tasked with developing a strategy for investigations conducted by the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic.[16] After he accused peacekeeping forces of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) of having been involved in a massacre in the city of Bangui - an accusation denied by MINUSCA - he was expelled from the country and fired by the UN less than a week after his mission started.[17]

Griveaux affair[edit]

In February 2020 it was reported that he was representing the Russian activist Petr Pavlensky both before and after the latter leaked sexually explicit videos depicting Benjamin Griveaux, then candidate in the mayoral elections for Paris. Multiple sources claim that Juan Branco was himself involved in the leak,[18] a criminal offense under French law.[19] This was denied by Branco.

Pavlensky was arrested on 14 February 2020 for stabbing two people during a New Year's Eve party organized by Branco and his girlfriend in a Paris flat owned by the latters' parents.[20]

After Branco was hired by Pavlensky as his defense attorney, the chairman of the French bar association opened an inquiry into the appropriateness of the defense in light of Branco's involvement in the affair. No conflict of interest was found but Branco was advised to step down as Pavlensky's defense attorney nonetheless due to a "lack of distance".[21] Branco originally followed the advice but later reverted his decision and joined the defense of Pavlensky once more.[22] Branco went on to request a psychological evaluation of Griveaux, the victim of the alleged crime, whose defense called the request "grotesque and hateful". The request was denied by the examining magistrate as it was deemed "not useful for the establishment of the truth" [23]


Juan Branco wrote multiple articles for Le Monde diplomatique and Les Inrockuptibles.[11]

In 2019 he published the book "Crépuscule", a pamphlet in which he criticized the French president, which sold more than 130.000 copies.[24]

Self-promotion on Wikipedia[edit]

Juan Branco has been editing his own Wikipedia pages for many years, attempting to embellish his biography. He makes his edits under multiple identities, using what are known as sockpuppets. He has also edited articles of others to "settle accounts" by portraying them in a negative light.[25]

He once wrote a threatening letter to the employer of another Wikipedia editor, pretending to be a "Wikipedia administrator" named "Addas Karadas" and threatening legal action.[26]


  • Réponses à Hadopi (Paris, Capricci, 2011, ISBN 978-2918040255)[27]
  • De l'affaire Katanga au contrat social global: Un regard sur la Cour pénale internationale (Paris, 2015, LGDJ-IUV, 2015, ISBN 978-2370320582)[28]
  • L'ordre et le monde (Paris, Fayard, 2016, ISBN 978-2213680880), edited by Alain Badiou and Barbara Cassin[29]
  • D'après une image de Daesh (Paris, Lignes, 2017, ISBN 978-2-35526-164-0)[30]
  • Contre Macron (Edition Divergence, 2019, ISBN 979-1097088125)
  • Crépuscule (Paris, Au Diable Vauvert, 2019) ISBN 979-1030702606
  • Assange, l'antisouverain (Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 2020) ISBN 978-2204133074


  1. ^ "Juan Branco | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  2. ^ "Juan Branco, portrait d'un lobbyiste militant de la liberté d'expression". Success Stories (in French). 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20160516184101/http://www.mpi.lu:80/the-institute/senior-research-fellows/juan-branco/
  4. ^ a b Tabet (March 2020). "Dans les réseaux de Juan Branco". Le Parisien (in French) (23487): 20–23.
  5. ^ a b (in French) https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/transports/gilets-jaunes/des-grandes-ecoles-aux-gilets-jaunes-en-passant-par-wikileaks-qui-est-juan-branco-l-auteur-de-crepuscule-en-guerre-contre-macron_3421861.html. Retrieved 2020-03-08. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ (in French) https://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Politique/Juan-Branco-l-avocat-qui-intrigue-1677637. Retrieved 2020-03-08. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ (in French) https://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/juan-branco-itineraire-d-un-enfant-gate-devenu-activiste-sans-scrupule-20200218. Retrieved 2020-03-08. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Des grandes écoles aux "gilets jaunes" en passant par WikiLeaks : qui est Juan Branco, l'avocat proche de Piotr Pavlenski ?". Franceinfo (in French). 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  9. ^ (in French) https://lincorrect.org/nous-serons-probablement-demain-lun-et-lautre-des-ennemis-principiels-juan-branco/. Retrieved 2020-03-08. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ 2015 NSA Espionnage revelations
  11. ^ a b "Juan Branco". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  12. ^ "Quand Juan Branco écrivait à Salah Abdeslam". valeursactuelles.com. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2020..
  13. ^ "Juan Branco a écrit une lettre à Salah Abdeslam en 2016 pour le conseiller". rtl.fr. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2020..
  14. ^ ""C'est un exercice illégal" : quand il sollicite le terroriste Abdeslam, Juan Branco... n'est pas encore avocat". marianne.net. 25 February 2020..
  15. ^ "Paris appeals court rules in favour of Paulo Branco on 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'". Screen. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  16. ^ https://fr.africanews.com/2018/05/31/centrafrique-la-minusca-expulse-un-expert-francais-qui-l-accuse-de-crimes. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-centralafrica-un/un-fires-central-africa-legal-adviser-who-accused-peacekeepers-of-massacre-idUSKCN1IW265. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Vidéos intimes de Griveaux : le rôle trouble de Juan Branco". lepoint.fr (in French). Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  19. ^ "France shrugs at sex scandals. But after a leaked video, this politician bowed out". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  20. ^ http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/piotr-pavlenski-dans-les-coulisses-de-sa-soiree-du-31-decembre-2019-29-02-2020-8269833.php
  21. ^ "Le bâtonnier de Paris a demandé à Branco de ne pas défendre Pavlenski". lepoint.fr (in French). 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  22. ^ "Branco redevient avocat de Pavlenski et demande une expertise psychiatrique de Griveaux". LExpress.fr (in French). 2020-03-05. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  23. ^ LePoint.fr (in French). 2020-03-12 https://www.lepoint.fr/justice/griveaux-la-justice-refuse-l-expertise-psychiatrique-demandee-par-branco-11-03-2020-2366834_2386.php#xtmc=branco&xtnp=1&xtcr=4. Retrieved 2020-04-01. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Juan Branco et Maxime Nicolle à Lisbonne". sfrpresse.sfr.fr (in French). Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  25. ^ "Sur Wikipédia, les vies rêvées de Juan Branco".
  26. ^ https://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Politique/Juan-Branco-l-avocat-qui-intrigue-1677637. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Library of the Congress
  28. ^ BNF reference
  29. ^ Editorial description of L'ordre et le monde
  30. ^ "Editorial description". 2020-02-25.

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