a complex investigation in the face of “hasty interpretations”


  At the funeral of Thomas, a teenager killed on November 19, 2023, during a village ball in Crépol (Drôme).  In Crépol, November 24, 2023.

We had to wait seven days after the death of Thomas, 16, killed on the night of Saturday November 18 to Sunday November 19 in a village ball in Crépol, in the Drôme, to begin to see a little more clearly in the unfolding of this tragedy. In such a complex affair to unravel – 400 participants in the evening, more than a hundred witnesses interviewed – the time of the investigation rarely meets the legitimate demand for immediate answers. It also sometimes contradicts the “hasty interpretations”, as highlighted on Saturday November 25 by the public prosecutor of Valencia.

In the first hours, each witness tells his part of the truth, a segment of a chronology that must then be reconstructed. The initial testimonies, summarized by the Valencia prosecutor on Monday, two days after the tragedy, outlined the scenario of a group of young people “outside the party” who would be “came to fight”. In certain media, witnesses had dropped a word, “attack”and far-right accounts did not hesitate to draw a parallel with the “Hamas” on social networks.

In the media storm, the investigation progressed as quickly as possible. After ninety-six hours of police custody, nine suspects, who were arrested on Tuesday, were indicted, Saturday November 25, for “organized gang murder”, “attempted murder” or “voluntary violence committed in a meeting”. Seven were placed in pre-trial detention, two under judicial supervision, according to their lawyers, Guillaume Fort and Bilel Hakkar.

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Call for caution from the prosecutor

Most of those indicted come from a working-cl district of Romans-sur-Isère, La Monnaie, but not all: one lives in the city center, another a nearby village. Not all of them were close friends, but most of them frequented this city plagued by drug trafficking, explains a source close to the investigation. Three are minors, the oldest is 22 years old. Five have already been sentenced for crimes, including one to two years in prison suspended for acts of aggravated violence.

“At this stage, the elucidation of the acts committed in Crépol is not completesaid the Valence prosecutor, Laurent de Caigny, in a press release. The very scenario of the acts, the motives and the identification of all the perpetrators cannot be reduced to denunciations without proof, speculations or hasty interpretations, many of which are circulating in public opinion. »

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