“Omar killed me”: the grey areas of the Omar Raddad affair

“Omar killed me”: the grey areas of the Omar Raddad affair

The wealthy heiress, the little gardener and the letters of blood. That is how we may sum up the cleaning soap opera. Devilishly romantic for writers or filmmakers, horrible for individuals who nonetheless endure the results of this limitless saga. This October 13, justice will study, once more, the developments. Will the establishment, which has by no means appreciated to query itself, take a step this time in direction of a potential evaluation of the trial held in Good in 1994? The sentence which had been pronounced there by no means succeeded in extinguishing part of doubt on the situation of the crime perpetrated, three earlier, on June 23, 1991, in Mougins within the Var, within the basement of a wonderful home. baptized “La Chamade”.

Since then, this prison case has turn into probably the most well-known in France. It’s true that the Raddad file has nothing to envy to the “Thriller of the yellow room”. The place of the homicide? The cellar of the villa whose exit is – virtually like within the well-known novel by Gaston Leroux – blocked from the within by an iron bar and a steel mattress. The sufferer ? Ghislaine Marchal, a rich widow that her neighbors typically noticed purchasing in a Rolls and whose head was smashed with a rafter. Proof pointing to his killer? Two messages that the septuagenarian wrote on two cellar doorways earlier than passing away and after dipping her palms in her wounds. “Omar killed me” (sentences plagiarized many instances since, in “humorous” mode) we learn on one, “Omar killed me” on the opposite.

A delegated wrongdoer

Initially of the investigation, nonetheless, the a part of Cluedo barely retains its guarantees because the wrongdoer is already designated. The younger Moroccan who, on this idyllic finish of the Côte d’Azur, goes on a moped, from property to property, to keep up gardens together with that of “La Chamade”, is named Omar. Omar Raddad. And he’s rapidly arrested. His motive in keeping with the gendarmes? The cash he would have come to assert from his boss who wouldn’t have wished to loosen her purse. Made livid by this refusal, he would have massacred her. In Mougins, a number of of the employers of the “good” thirty-year-old had been stunned and supported him: Omar was all the time mild, calm, well mannered; he cannot have let himself be carried away by this blind anger! In police custody, the gardener cries out his innocence. In entrance of the Court docket of Assizes of Good, too. In useless.

The sentence fell like a cleaver since on the time the potential for asking to be retried, on attraction, didn’t exist. Eighteen years in jail. The accused is discovered responsible, though none of his fingerprints had been discovered within the cellar of La Chamade, nor any hint of blood on his garments. And regardless of the shortcomings of the police investigation barely famous in the course of the hearings by the gardener’s very well-known lawyer, the late Jacques Vergès. This specialist within the so-called “break” protection prefers to order his oratory expertise for his ultimate argument or for the tv cameras massed outdoors the court docket. “My consumer is Captain Dreyfus,” he thunders after denouncing the racist overtones emanating from the judicial precincts.

The bloody inscriptions on the coronary heart of the trial

Not with out cause: in the course of the debates, the president of the court docket multiplied, beneath a homely air, remarks that no Justice of the Peace (a minimum of in such a high-profile trial) would permit at the moment: “You declared, throw- specifically to the spouse of Omar Raddad, that your husband was incapable of harming a mosquito and, however, in Morocco, he did certainly slaughter the sheep for the feast of Eid…” The accused, Berber-speaking and assisted by an interpreter, is then in nice issue to defend himself. Within the room, a part of the general public sympathizes with the will to consider him or a minimum of to doubt. After which, every little thing modified the day the bailiffs introduced the 2 cellar doorways and their bloody inscriptions to the court docket.

Ghislaine Marchal “had the braveness to pull herself to put in writing these final phrases with a dying hand” explains to the jurors in shock Me Henri Leclerc. This revered penalist, former president of the League of Human Rights, most frequently in protection in battles misplaced prematurely, this time represents a civil get together, wealthy and influential. However for him, as for the Marchal household, the reality is there, in these messages, with an more and more obscure define, till they turn into virtually illegible. These two sentences recount an agony that lasted practically half-hour. What Machiavellian spirit may have, after having dedicated its abominable crime, taken the time to mimic so completely the final effort of a dying lady? Most graphologists declare to have seen the identical form of stick letters in Madame Marchal’s crossword puzzles. This one, keep in mind her relations, was additionally typically offended with the previous participle. Thus this observe that she would have left someday: “I watered the flowers.” After which, above all, easy methods to clarify this cellar closed from the within? The place would a assassin come out falsely accusing the gardener? It was the previous woman who barricaded herself in concern of seeing “Omar” come again, it was she who wrote his first title as a result of he was the aggressor, insists the civil get together nonetheless at the moment. The protection struggles to show that the door may very effectively have been closed from the skin (after having beforehand supported the mattress and the steel bar) and refuses to shut the Cluedo.

Theories that lead nowhere

The battle has been occurring for greater than 20 years. On one facet, the household of the sufferer (counting magistrates and legal professionals). On the opposite, the assist committee for Omar (with spokesperson the author Jean-Marie Rouart, member of the French Academy and former columnist for Le Figaro). Even King Hassan II bought concerned as his kingdom was revolted by the “injustice” performed to Omar. On the request of the monarch, President Jacques Chirac ended up, in 1996, granting a partial pardon. A mannequin prisoner, and due to this fact additionally benefiting from conditional launch, the gardener was launched from jail on September 4, 1998.

Since then, nonetheless, he’s nonetheless responsible within the eyes of justice, the presidential pardon under no circumstances erasing his conviction. Additionally the committee by no means disarmed. 12 months after yr, detectives dedicated to the trigger have collected “clues” main to 2 “Italians”, then to the “ex-companion of the cleansing woman”, or to a “second Omar”, suspected in flip to be the actual killers. All these theories have made pschitt. Extra not too long ago, three journalists* found that gendarmes from Good had, within the early 2000s, taken an curiosity in two brothers, now deceased, homeowners of a restaurant the place Ghislaine Marchal used to stay: they suspected them of getting killed the septuagenarian to grab her secure. Maybe they’re those who left their mark within the basements of La Chamade?

The “genetic path”

At the moment, it’s within the “genetic monitor”, already exploited however by no means actually elucidated, that the protection locations most of its hopes. As a result of, the day after the homicide, if the investigators didn’t detect any fingerprints from Raddad, they discovered different unidentified ones. The professional-Omar individuals have all the time seen it as a cause to retry the case, however they had been challenged in 2002 by the fee of instruction of the court docket of revision (it’s it which decides whether or not there’s a have to open whether or not or not a second trial) on the grounds that these “unknown” DNA may date from earlier than the homicide. Or after. So many individuals have gone by the cellar of the villa, neglecting the same old precautions. The gendarmes, the bailiffs, the household, the reporters… Briefly, within the eyes of the fee, there is no such thing as a “new aspect” within the arguments of the defence. [condition indispensable pour obtenir une révision] akin to to provide rise to a doubt as to the guilt of the convicted individual”. In 2008, Me Sylvie Noachovitch, who succeeded Jacques Vergès, however went again on the assault. Since genetic science has made great progress for the reason that investigation that landed her consumer in jail, the lawyer assigns specialists for extra in-depth analyses. In 2011, they handle to isolate, with out revealing all their secrets and techniques, two male genetic profiles. In 2015, they establish 4 of them which seem “solely” on the doorways and the chevron with which the blows had been struck. If we won’t discover them anyplace else, possibly it is as a result of these fingerprints do not come from those that “polluted”, as we are saying within the jargon, the scene of the crime?

A brand new alternative for the protection?

In 2019, a brand new experience prides itself on having “positioned” extra finely than the earlier ones, one in all these DNA: it’s “omnipresent” on the “writing areas” and seems 35 instances within the sentence “Omar m a t”, specifically on the finish of the letters when the finger is not sufficiently soaked in hemoglobin! Conclusion of the specialist who carried out this research: “The hypotheses of contamination of the crime scene by an outdoor get together have gotten unlikely, whereas the hypotheses of direct or oblique major switch on the time of the occasions have gotten an increasing number of so. Clearly, somebody, Mr. X, proprietor of the mysterious DNA, may have held Ghislaine Marchal’s hand, and even traced the message together with his personal index finger.

Unbelievable, believes the civil get together. The doorways had been manipulated a number of instances, additionally remembers the prosecution, particularly after they had been introduced earlier than the Good Assize Court docket. Nonetheless, in December 2021 and for the primary time, the fee of instruction of the court docket of revision half-opens its door to the requests of the protection. Very rigorously and really slowly. After an extra yr of reflection and “further info”, a listening to was held on September 15 the place a “resolution” was introduced for October 13. This might, or not, require different skilled opinions which, in flip, can be examined with a view, or not, to a retrial – a really uncommon process in France. Suffice to say that the street will nonetheless be lengthy and strewn with pitfalls earlier than justice agrees to look once more on the enigma of the letters of blood. If enigma there’s.

* “Ministry of Injustice” by Jean-Michel Décugis, Pauline Guéna and Marc Leplongeon. Editions Grasset, March 2022.

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