Alain Jakubowicz, the lawyer for “noble causes” in defense of Nordahl Lelandais

On the eve of the trial, Mr.andAlain Jakubowicz does not want to speak. His word, the lawyer from Lyon reserves it to the Court of Assizes of Savoy. And in defense of his client, Nordahl Lelandais who, from this Monday, May 3, will be tried in Chambéry in a trial under high media attention. For eight days, this 38-year-old former dog handler will have to answer for the murder of Arthur Noyer, a 23-year-old soldier, killed in April 2017 in Chambéry. A first trial for Nordahl Lelandais who must also appear next year before the Assize Court of Isère. For the murder this time of Maëlys, this 8-year-old girl who disappeared in August 2017 during a wedding.

” You are a monster “

Two trials a year apart. Two ordeals for families devastated by grief. And a double challenge for Mand Jakubowicz who will have to defend a man who, for some, does not deserve a lawyer, dressed in a robe of black, to be seated at his side in a courtroom.“I wish you the best for you and your family” ; “You are a monster…it is individuals like you who inspire assassins » ; “I hope we will do the same to your grandchildren”… These are some of the messages that Alain Jakubowicz received when he decided to represent Nordahl Lelandais. A far from trivial decision for this former president of the Licra, often presented as the defender of “noble causes”, known for his commitment against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination.

Alain Jakubowicz is this lawyer who, with other colleagues, occupied the benches of the civil parties in the trials of Klaus Barbie, Paul Touvier and Maurice Papon. Trials for History, very far from this Savoy Assize Court which will therefore look into the murder of this 23-year-old corporal, killed in the middle of the night after being hitchhiked by Nordahl Lelandais. “VSIt is not the lawyer who chooses his cases, but the clients who choose the lawyer”, writes the lawyer in a book (1), published in 2019, where he confesses his determination but also some inner torments in this defense not quite like the others.

Should we agree to defend this man?

For meand Jakubowicz, it all started in September 2017 with a phone call. At the end of the line, a man whose acquittal he recently obtained at the assizes. The man tells him about the Maëlys affair and tells him that he is at the home of the parents of Nordahl Lelandais, who has just been detained. “He passes me his mother, who explains to me her distress and her certainty of her son’s innocence”, tells the lawyer (1) who, in the process, organizes a meeting within his firm.

→ REREAD. The Nordahl Lelandais case plunges investigators back into unsolved cases

Should we accept to defend this man, already presented “like some kind of psychopath” in the media ?AlainJakubowicz wants to consult his associates. My firm is a business law firm. I cannot therefore accept such a sensitive and media-friendly file without taking into account the impact that this decision may have on our clientele, essentially made up of business leaders. », admits the lawyer, then faced with rather skeptical reactions.I remind you that you have a granddaughter who is the same age as Maëlys”, says his daughter, also a lawyer.

“Tetanized” during the reconstitution

Butand Jakubowicz feels that his associates, even though they have ” fear “, trust him. So he commits himself to this man who proclaims his innocence and will continue to do so for six months. Until the scientific police find traces of Maëlys’ blood in his car. The next day, Nordahl Lelandais confesses the truth to his lawyer who, for weeks, maintained his innocence. With a vigor and arguments sometimes very badly experienced by the girl’s family. After these confessions, Mr.and Jakubowicz chooses to keep the file. What my client was accused of horrified me, but it was not a cause that I was defending, he was a man”,writes the lawyer who acknowledges, however, having been “paralyzed” by the violence of the blows inflicted by his client during the reconstruction of the crime.

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This Monday, May 3, in Chambéry, Mand Jakobowicz will be well seated on the benches of the defense. “There is no lawyer for the good causes and a lawyer for the bad, just as there is no lawyer for the accused and a lawyer for the victims, he writes. Because accused and victims are men and women, with their strengths and their weaknesses, their intelligence and their stupidity, with their life too, and what it carries with it of joy and misfortune, of luck and bad luck, of greatness and smallness. To those who want to divide, segment, specialize, I answer: I am a lawyer! My robe is the same no matter what cause or man I stand for and what side of the bar I’ve been called to. »

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