at the trial of the Mehdi Fakir case, the defense lawyers returning

This is a first at the Assize Court of Limoges. For an entire morning, the trial of the Boufodda brothers, accused of having unintentionally killed Mehdi Fakir, took place without two of the defendants’ lawyers. This afternoon, they came back to ask for dismissal.

After a morning spent defenseless, Abdallah and Farid Boufodda, two of the three brothers accused of having involuntarily killed Mehdi Fakir on November 17, 2013, finally found their lawyers when the hearing resumed this afternoon, June 17. Committed by the President of the Assize Court following the rejection of their request for dismissal last night, Me Alexandre Simonin and Me Isabelle Felenbok had deserted the courtroom. An unusual scenario. Upon their return this afternoon, they again made a request for a postponement of the trial. The hearing is suspended until 5 p.m. pending the deliberation of the president and her accessors. Back to a trial under tension.

arm wrestling

Yesterday, Me Alexandre Simonin and Me Isabelle Felenbok, lawyers for Farid and Abdallah Boufodda, stepped up to the plate during the hearing to denounce a biased trial. The illustration of this bias for these two lawyers from the Versailles Bar: the testimony by videoconference of an eyewitness. This young man claims to have seen Farid Boufodda in possession of an object resembling a gun at the scene of the brawl.

The fact of receiving this testimony by videoconference, while the witness was physically present in the precincts of the Court of Appeal, according to the lawyers for Farid and Abdallah, demonstrates a desire to present the defendants as particularly dangerous people.

Since the start of the trial, Messrs. Boufodda and their lawyers have been considered enemies to be defeated. It is out of the question for a trial to take place under uncertain conditions.

Me Alexandre Simonin, defense lawyer

The Versailles lawyers then decided to request the postponement of the hearing, to preserve the rights of their clients. A request not joined by Me Lionel Magne, lawyer for Samir Boufodda, the younger brother who was released recently. His lawyer, however, declares that he does not want to go against the interests of the defense “.

Two defenseless defendants

The defense lawyers announce their intention to file a request for legitimate suspicion with the first president of the court of appeal, but it is late on Wednesday and they cannot do so. The President of the Assize Court therefore rejected this request for dismissal. In reaction, the defense lawyers simply decided to leave the hearing.

No problem for the president who decides to continue the trial at all costs. By email, she notifies the two lawyers of their commission to defend Farid and Abdallah Boufodda. By specifying that the trial could continue, even without their presence, in accordance with the code of criminal procedure.

But this morning in the courtroom, two seats are still empty. Me Simonin and Me Felenbok are still absent. However, the trial resumes its normal course. Expert psychiatrists and psychologists come to present their analyzes until the chairman of Limoges intervenes. He questions the president on the holding of this hearing, in particular with regard to the notification by e-mail of the commission of office of the two Versailles lawyers.

We are told that an email would have been sent yesterday at 7:45 p.m. when their office was probably closed and we have no acknowledgment of receipt.

Bertrand Villette, President of the Bar Association of Limoges

After hearing the chairman and the other lawyers, the president decides to resume the trial. It is up to the defense lawyers to return to assist their clients, who have for the moment preferred to remain silent, with a few exceptions.

New referral requested

When the hearing resumes this afternoon, Me Alexandre Simonin and Me Isabelle Felenbok are finally back. They are again requesting a dismissal of the trial, for the same reason. But this time, the president cannot sweep away their request. The two Versaillesers filed a request for legitimate suspicion this morning before the first President of the Court of Appeal.

The hearing is therefore adjourned until 5 p.m. to allow the President and her accessors to decide on this textbook case. Does the Code of Criminal Procedure provide that this type of request is suspensive?

If so, the trial will be postponed until the December session, pending the decision of the first President of the Court of Appeal. Otherwise the trial can resume its course under tension. In this case, it could perhaps extend until Saturday.

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