Maëlys case: the lawyers for the civil parties ask to “look at the atrocity of the facts”

The lawyers for the civil parties in the Nordahl Lelandais trial were able to present their arguments before the jurors of the Assize Court of Grenoble (Isère), this Wednesday, February 16, 2022. (©AFP/Archives/Benoit PEYRUCQ)

“A dangerous criminal”, a “mystery”, a “predator”… The lawyers for the civil parties painted, this Wednesday, February 16, 2022, a dark portrait of Nordahl Lelandais before the Assize Court of Grenoble (Isère), called to judge him for the murder of little Maëlys in August 2017.

It was Me Yves Crespin, lawyer for two child protection associations, who opened the pleadings of the civil parties, facing the former soldier who will be 39 years old on the day of verdict, expected this Friday, February 18.

“We are going to part on the mystery of Nordahl Lelandais. I felt him very absent from his trial, yet it was his trial. He had a great opportunity to express himself, he missed it, ”he told the jurors, seated in a row behind the magistrates. “It is this man you have to judge,” he said. “You don’t have to understand, you never can.”

A trial marked by confessions

Nordahl Lelandais has been on trial since January 31 by the Isère Assize Court for the kidnapping and murder of Maëlys De Araujoan 8-year-old girl, as well as for sexual assaults against two cousins, aged 4 and 6, during the same summer of 2017.

Pushed to his limits over the three weeks of debates, the former dog handler admitted to having pedophile inclinations towards her cousins. He also admitted to having killed “voluntarily” Maëlys by evoking a panic attack. And he repeated that he had never had a sexual motive towards her.

The experts called to the stand described his “inability to empathize, to experience the feeling of guilt, they painted a terrible portrait of an antisocial, a psychopath to extreme psychiatric and criminal dangerousness. This will have to be taken into account, ”said Me Crépin. “I have this terrible conviction that fortunately he was arrested in time and that Maëlys will not have died for nothing”, he concluded.

“Looking in the face of the atrocity of the facts”

“Yes, you are a pedophile, a sexual predator. You looked for prey, that’s a predator, ”then in turn apostrophized Me Caroline Rémond, lawyer for the two little cousins ​​who were victims of sexual assault. She returns to the atrocious videos which he filmed with his phone as he assaulted the sleeping children.

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Images that froze the audience and offended the “dignity” of their parents. “Today I express their anger at not knowing why it happened and what happened to Maëlys,” she said. The accused “took her life” and took away their “innocence” from her little cousins.

Me Martin Vatinel, one of Maëlys’ father’s lawyers, asks the jurors to “look the atrocity of the facts in the face”. The accused, by destroying the clues and blurring the tracks by his repeated lies “will have forced us to operate only by assumptions”, he underlines.

Verdict expected on Friday

His client, Joachim De Araujo, lived a “long way of the cross” of four and a half years until the trial, an “abyssal plunge into the darkness of a raging sea” when he was told after six months that the remains of his daughter were found in a forest in Chartreuse.

the indictment and the defense argument are expected this Thursday February 17 2022. The accused, already sentenced in May 2021 to twenty years in prison by the Assize Court of Chambéry (Savoie) for the murder of Corporal Arthur Noyer, faces life imprisonment.

(with AFP)

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