how Maëlys’ mother’s lawyer approaches the hearing

Fabien Rajon has defended, since the beginning of the case, the interests of the family of Maëlys, 8 and a half years old at the material time, kidnapped during a wedding party at Pont-de-Beauvoisin and killed by Nordahl Lelandais . Since the divorce of the parents of Maëlys, the father of the child has taken another lawyer, but he remains the counsel of the maternal family of the girl in the broad sense, her mother, therefore, Jennifer, the aunt, the grandparents , the older sister of Maëlys. Master Fabien Rajon confided before the Grenoble trial.

“We don’t expect much from the words of Nordahl Lelandais” – Fabien Rajon, lawyer for Maëlys’ maternal family

How did you prepare for this high-tension, three-week marathon hearing?

The file contains 23,000 pages. In the firm, I have mobilized a full-time lawyer and a jurist for several months now and we will be ready to start the Assizes on Monday January 31 in the morning. The pressure is there, that’s undeniable. But, in reality, it is more consecutive to the extraordinary media coverage of the case than to the criminal case itself, because I have been working on it since September 2017, the date on which Maëlys’ relatives entrusted me with the defense of their interests. .

In what state of mind are your customers, and in particular the mother of Maëlys?

We exchange a lot with the family of Maëlys and in particular with Jennifer, her mother. I think I can tell you that she is ready to face this Assizes, while being perfectly lucid as to the fact that this is first and foremost a terrible ordeal for her. I try to speak the truth to loved ones and family, without detour. The Assizes are a test. I’d rather they didn’t pin high hopes on this lawsuitwhile ensuring, on my side and on the side of my team, to prepare ourselves in the best conditions to face this legal battle and to live up to the trust they have placed in me by asking me to be their lawyer.

What exactly does she expect from this audience? Does she hope to know the truth?

The relatives do not expect much from the word of Lelandais. I know that in theory anything can happen and a hearing can change, especially at the Assizes, but the family does not give much credit to the word of the accused and they are aware that the progress towards the truth, we owe them first and foremost to the exceptional work of the investigators. I am thinking in particular of the gendarmes of the National Gendarmerie Research Institute (IRCGN). Without them, we might not have found the girl’s body somewhere in the Chartreuse mountains.

The face of Maëlys is still present in front of the multipurpose hall of Pont de Beauvoisin where the drama took place © Radio France
Veronique Pueyo

You have already faced the accused during the investigation, what will be your attitude towards him?

Yes, I had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions during the procedure, in the office of the investigating judges, during the criminal reconstruction or before the investigating chamber. We will see when the time comes during the hearing.

Maëlys will be present in spite of everything in everyone’s mind, even if it is the trial of her murderer?

Yes. In law, it is the Lelandais trial and, according to the code of criminal procedure, he will be judged on the facts and on his personality. The criminal trial is so made that it opposes a defendant to the public prosecutor, it is up to the civil party to come and join it. But I think that beyond the mere procedural rules, we will take the time to evoke the memory of this little girl, who was torn from life this evening at the end of summer 2017. It will be the least of the things we can do for her, for her memory and for all her loved ones.

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