Trial of November 13: pass of arms between lawyers around the testimony of François Hollande

The litany of the call for witnesses goes on. The process takes time as many of them are cited for this trial of the November 13 attacks which reached its third day this Friday. Police officers especially but also relatives of the 14 defendants present in the room (the 6 others appear by default). Even if the anonymity of the investigators – a practice in force for several years in France – makes the defense wince, the sequence flows smoothly. Until the announcement of the deposition of a certain “Hollande François”, scheduled for November. The quote from the former head of state provoked the first pass of arms between the defense and the civil parties.

“He will be able to answer questions on several topics”

Me Raphaël Kempf, one of Yassine Atar’s lawyers, stands up. “It is not clear what is the usefulness of this hearing for the manifestation of the truth, he is surprised. Could the lawyers for the civil parties explain to us why this individual needs to be heard? “This time, it’s up to the phlegmatic and tongue-in-cheek President Jean-Louis Périès to pout: “He’s a person like any other, admits the magistrate, but you could use another term thanindividual. »

One of the lawyers of the Life for Paris association, at the origin of the quote from the former president, is justified. “He was at the scene of the attacks and he will be able to answer questions on several topics,” he announces. Not enough to satisfy Me Christian Saint-Palais, Yassine Atar’s second lawyer. The criminal lawyer appeals to the Code of Criminal Procedure and its article 331 which provides that witnesses speak “on the facts and the personality of the accused”.

He therefore does not see what the former president could say about it. “And we understood that time will be counted for us,” he adds. Me Helena Christidis, the lawyer for many civil parties, comes to the aid of her colleague from Life for Paris. “There is also everything that happened before the facts,” she explains. The hearing of François Hollande will take place.

The announcement of the testimony of George Fenech, who chaired the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the attacks, sparks a new battle. It is here again Me Saint-Palais who carries the iron, always on the same theme. “He is not in his place in this assize court. He has just written a book which will undoubtedly be very useful to read, but we are not going to receive all the people who publish a book at the time of a trial, ”ironically the lawyer.

On the bench of the civil parties, Me Olivier Morice seizes the microphone. “The injured and the families who have lost a loved one expect questions to be asked of all those who have explanations to provide. If it displeases the defense that we take time for this, I deeply regret it, ”says the lawyer. Jean-Louis Périès closes the debates. But still let her feelings show. “We are in a criminal trial and we are here to examine the charges against the defendants. Point. »

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