the accused wants to “steal the trial from the civil parties”, according to a lawyer

“The amnesia in this case is a way of escaping one’s responsibilities,” insisted Me Philippe Soussi, after a meeting with the investigating magistrate.

The meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, at the Nice courthouse, was led by Jean-Marc Herbaut, vice-president in charge of the investigation at the anti-terrorism center at the Paris court, in the presence of the families of the victims.

On October 29, 2020, around 8:30 a.m., Brahim Aouissaoui, a Tunisian then 22 years old, burst into the basilica of Nice and stabbed to death Nadine Devillers, a 60-year-old woman from Nice, Simone Barreto Silva, a Franco -Brazilian, 44, mother of three children, and sacristan Vincent Loquès, 55, father of two daughters.

As part of the judicial investigation opened by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT), the man had been indicted for “murders and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.

Questioned at the beginning of April 2021, the suspect had assured not to remember the events of Nice. According to a source familiar with the matter, he was again heard “at the beginning of June and (remained) on the same line of defense”.

On Wednesday, the magistrate first presented to the civil parties the conclusions of a psychiatric expertise of Brahim Aouissaoui. This establishes, “as we anticipated, that the accused is fully responsible for his actions”, assured Me Soussi, lawyer for Mr. Devillers.

Another neurological expertise showed that the suspect having undergone anesthesia and sedation, “it is possible or conceivable that there may be amnesia concerning the day of the facts”, but not beyond, according to Me Soussi.

“a defense system”

The accused claiming not to recognize himself when presented with a photo of himself, “it is therefore clearly established that the alleged amnesia is a defense system”, insisted the lawyer.

The meeting also “made it possible to understand the path of this terrorist, his radicalism, his intentions and his premeditated preparation for this terrorist attack”, affirmed Me Samia Maktouf, lawyer for the sexton’s family, according to whom “it is someone who has a terrorist past in Tunisia and has already been sentenced there”.

Known in Tunisia for acts of violence and drugs, the young man, who arrived in Europe illegally via the Italian island of Lampedusa, had turned to religion and then isolated.

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