Five people were found guilty of attempted murder of persons holding public authority. Three were sentenced to 18 years in prison, one to 8 years and the last to 6 years. The other eight defendants were acquitted.
The Paris Assize Court on appeal on the night of April 17 to 18 sentenced five young people to terms ranging from 6 to 18 years imprisonment for the violent attack by police officers in Viry-Châtillon (Essonne) in 2016, and acquitted eight others, angering the victims’ lawyers.
The reading of the verdict was interrupted by a general fight in the box of the accused, which required the intervention of about thirty police and gendarmes. The clashes then spread in the courtroom, where the families of the accused were present. Calm returned after ten minutes.
General fight between the accused in the courtroom
“We have just witnessed a judicial shipwreck […] While we know that there were 16 assailants, we end up with five convictions, ”denounced Me Thibault de Montbrial, lawyer for one of the victims,“ collapsed ”, according to him, by this verdict on appeal. “It is a shipwreck because at the time of the verdict, the natural took over, a general fight broke out, the accused took to task,” he added, explaining that he “never saw that in 25 years of the Assize Court ”.
After 14 hours of deliberation and six weeks of closed hearing, the five convicted were found guilty of attempted murder of persons in public authority. Three of them were sentenced to 18 years in prison, one to 8 years in prison and the last to 6 years. They faced life imprisonment. The other eight defendants were acquitted.
Unlike the civil parties, one of the defense lawyers, Me Mauger-Poliak, hailed “a relief for the defense”, and a “total denial of the investigation”. “This is the end of the legal nightmare for my client”, who had already been acquitted at first instance, for his part declared the lawyer Arnaud Simonard.
At first instance, eight of these young people were found guilty and sentenced to terms ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison. Five others had been acquitted. The Paris public prosecutor’s office had appealed against the verdict while the lawyers for the civil parties had denounced the sentences “which did not draw the conclusions” of the “gravity of the crime” committed. The court did not follow the requisitions of the attorney general who had requested on April 13 an acquittal and sentences of 12 to 25 years of criminal imprisonment for the 12 other defendants, now aged 21 to 26.
The Grande Borne gang wanted to “fuck the cops”
The 13 young people, aged 16 to 21 at the time of the facts, were accused of having been part of the twenty hooded people who, on October 8, 2016, stormed in the middle of the day two police cars parked nearby from the Grande Borne district, a vast social housing city considered to be one of the most sensitive in Île-de-France.
Within seconds, they had smashed the windows and thrown Molotov cocktails into the cockpits. In a first car, a 28-year-old security assistant and a 39-year-old female peacekeeper caught fire.
I have children, help me
The deputy’s life-threatening prognosis had been engaged for a while and he had been plunged into a coma for several weeks. More than four years after the incident, he still bears the marks of the assault on his face. “These police officers who were in the cars, we spit in their faces after having burned them for the first time,” denounced on April 18 at the end of the hearing Laurent Franck Lienard, lawyer for two of the police officers.
Her colleague had been hit by stones when she got out of the torch-turned car, while her upper body was on fire. “I have children, help me”, had heard him say one of his alleged attackers, who had confided later to a friend that it had made him “a pang in the heart”. Two officers managed to extricate themselves from the other car when a Molotov cocktail fell in the back seat. They had been injured more lightly.
According to the investigation, the accused, members of a band from the Grande Borne, had planned a few days earlier to “fuck cops”. Just after the verdict was issued, the city of La Grande Borne, which has thousands of homes, was “deserted” on the night of April 17 to 18, according to a police source from Essonne.