Assizes of Luxembourg: the Advocate General demands perpetuity against Philippe Lemaire

The trial of Philippe Lemaire before the Luxembourg Assize Court for the assassination of Marie-Thérèse Roufosse on July 15, 2018 has entered its final stretch. On Thursday night, the jury found the defendant guilty of premeditated murder. The hearing resumed Friday morning with the indictment of the prosecution and the arguments of the defense on the question of the sentence. The public prosecutor requested the maximum sentence, ie life imprisonment with release to the sentencing court for a period of 15 years.

“I find no extenuating circumstances for him,” the Advocate General said of the accused. The magistrate evokes Philippe Lemaire’s tenacious resentment towards justice, his total lack of questioning, his propensity to systematically blame others, his multiple criminal records, his total lack of empathy towards the relatives of the victim or his determination to take justice into his own hands. “Philippe Lemaire represents a real danger to society. Never after a sitting session have I felt such a sense of fear. I believe that in this case, incarceration is the only solution that can curb the risk of recidivism.”

Defense lawyers Sylvain Danneels and Dimitri De Coster plead mitigating circumstances, citing the defendant’s difficult childhood and the impact of family determinism on his personality structure. Dimitri De Coster presented a cube to the audience as a metaphor to represent his client’s psyche. “Monsieur Lemaire is locked in with his ideas, his resentment, his hatred. He could have become much more, but so many things have happened.”
The lawyer mentioned the successive moves related to the father’s work, the hatred that had developed between the parents in the context of their divorce, the mother, presented as an alcoholic prostitute focused on theft and violence, and who would have asked his son to poison his father. But also the father, adored despite paternal negligence, and whose tenacious resentment towards the justice of Cestrol today permeates the speech of the accused.

The lawyer concluded by turning to the accused: “Philippe, your childhood was stolen from you, you can free yourself from these difficulties, you have the right to hate your father, to get angry”, said added the lawyer to his client, handing him the cube symbolizing his psyche. Sylvain Danneels, also returned to the relationship between Philippe Lemaire and Marie-Thérèse Roufosse. A relationship presented as toxic by the defense lawyers. “Both complacent in this dysfunctional relationship. No doubt he loved her very badly, but I am convinced that they loved each other and that it was this love for her that pushed him to commit the irreparable.

The defense asks the jury not to pronounce a sentence exceeding 20 years in prison. “Given his age and his state of health, life has the value of eternity for Philippe Lemaire,” said Dimitri De Coster.
The accused had prepared some notes for his last speech. He didn’t read them after all. “When I say something, it’s no use,” he said, before adding, on the verge of tears, “Marie…it was never supposed to happen.”

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