“he died a free man”

One of Yvan Colonna’s three lawyers spoke, in Marseille, the day after the death of the Cargese shepherd, which occurred following the violent attack he had suffered on March 2 in the central prison of Arles.

The day after the announcement of the death of Yvan Colonna, Sylvain Cormier spoke in front of the cameras of our colleagues from France 3 Marseille, on behalf of the family: “She is focused on her sadness, the decision that had to be made, and the contemplation”.

The lawyer insisted on underlining their attitude since the beginning of the case. “You have to see what they went through. They never lost their total dignity from the start”.

Yvan Colonna struggled to demonstrate his innocence. He had not given up that fight.

Sylvain Cormier

Asked about his feelings the day after the death of the nationalist, Sylvain Cormier speaks of a “Immense mess”: Yvan Colonna struggled to demonstrate his innocence. He had not given up that fight. He was also struggling against a DPS status that was unjustly imposed on him in prison. But the fight of a man locked up in a high-security center is a word that has trouble getting out.

For his lawyer, it is “a fighting man who died tragically”. And Sylvain Cormier to promise that this fight did not die with him : “It may seem completely off the mark today, resembling the words of a fanatic, but the fight for his innocence, I intend not to abandon it”.

When we return to the investigations in progress, the lawyer recalls in advance that since yesterday, it is “the time of contemplation”.

Corn “Then, and this is the mission that we will have with my colleagues Emmanuel Mercinier-Pantalacci and Stella Canava, the times will come when we will have to act, ask questions and obtain answers”.

“The family is particularly vigilant that all evidence is kept” he clarifies. “We have guarantees from the investigating magistrates on this point, we have no reason to doubt what they have already done, we have many videos that have been frozen, and we will be able to do substantive work.

Nevertheless, Sylvain Cormier points out that many flaws exist in the version of the aggression that we know. He thus returns to the first hearing of the National Assembly’s law commission, before which Laurent Ridel, director of the prison administration, appeared.

A hearing which, according to him, “revealed some very interesting things. In particular the lies which, from the start of this affair, were uttered to the deputies. I will take a few examples: the sports hall had an open door, we are told, while this was not the case. It was closed. We also had some explanations, not misleading but frankly dubious, about the video surveillance. We were explained very laboriously that there were videos, that everything was filmed but that we didn’t always look at them… For ten minutes, someone could have been murdered in one of perhaps the most guarded prisons in France. Questions will have to be answered, of course”.

The next were to be asked tomorrow morning, with the second hearing of the National Assembly’s law commission, with Marc Ollier, head of establishment of the Central House of Arles. But it has been postponed to March 30.

A huge mess.

Sylvain Cormier

While the time for justice, which will follow the time for contemplation, is likely to be a long battle, Sylvain Cormier concludes the interview by declaring “Yvan Colonna died as a free man. He had no prison number, his sentence had been suspended. It is this last victory, symbolic, which can be the future of something”.

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