Death of Sihem: why was the alleged murderer free?

Death of Sihem: why was the alleged murderer free?

« One week from my father’s trial, individuals like that who are still outside, it’s not normal, we’ve been barricading ourselves at home for a week, we’re afraid of this crazy “, indignant Dylan Verdier, at the microphone ofGard objective, during a demonstration in front of the court of Nîmes. This 1is February 2023, the trial of the man who had robbed his parents and kidnapped his father, more than 11 years ago, should have opened before the Assize Court of Gard. Only here, despite 13 convictions on his criminal record, including a criminal conviction in 2015 to 12 years in prison for theft with a weapon, before this same Assize Court, the accused appeared free. It was this freedom that cost the life of 18-year-old Sihem.

Indeed, last night, the alleged perpetrator of the robbery of which the parents of Dylan Verdier were victims confessed, after being taken into custody, to the murder of the young girl who had been missing for a week. And the victim’s lifeless body was found that night, near an isolated country lane in La Grand-Combe in the Gard, thanks to the indications of the accused. The latter is now indicted on counts of kidnapping, kidnapping and arbitrary detention without voluntary release before the seventh day. And a subsequent requalification for murder is envisaged, as specified by the public prosecutor of Nîmes, Cécile Gensac, during a press conference which was held at the beginning of the afternoon.

So what happened? Why did an individual with such a heavy criminal record appear free, without even judicial control, at a trial before an assize court? Because the consequences are tragic. The trial is obviously postponed to a later date, which is a lesser evil, but above all, a young girl barely out of childhood has lost her life.

Maître Hugo Ferri, the Verdier lawyer, explains it to us. 1is December 2011, armed men took his customers, a couple of traders, hostage at their home in order to steal the recipe of the day. After four years of investigation, an individual, HM, is suspected of having participated in the robbery and preventive detention against him is decided. But the man is already incarcerated. The armed robbery of a supermarket earned him a 12-year prison sentence in 2015, after being placed in preventive detention in 2012.

When in 2017, it is planned to lift the warrant of committal for preventive detention for the robbery of the Verdiers, Master Ferri and his clients do not oppose it: in any case the man is in prison to serve a heavy penalty. They could have asked for a judicial review to be put in place in the event of early release, but they did not think of it, and Master Ferri said he regretted it.

What the Verdiers and their lawyer did not foresee is that the referral to an assize court of their attacker would take as long. What they don’t know either is that beyond the sentence reductions, the individual will benefit the same year from adjustments to his sentence. When the prosecutor Cécile Gensac, specifies a little ill at ease, in front of an audience of journalists who press her with questions, that with regard to the criminal record of the individual, he has executed all his sentences, it is true. But it remains vague on the reductions and adjustments it has benefited from. ” The indicted was released from prison after having served his sentence in full under, firstly, detention in a remand center, then successive and progressive adjustment of sentences, under the control of an enforcement judge. penalties she tells us. Maître Ferri only learned that the accused was free about two years ago. It was his clients who informed him of this. Indeed, the couple had the traumatic experience of meeting their robber in a village street!

And so it was that, despite multiple convictions and a referral to the Assize Court, Sihem’s alleged murderer was free as air when he killed the girl. The slowness of justice and the reductions and other adjustments to sentences had prevented him from being tried again before his release. All of his previous convictions were deemed completed and he was presumed innocent of the couple’s robbery. So, a week ago, Sihem, 18, died.


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