In 2016, nine men participated in the kidnapping of Jacqueline Veyrac, 76, owner of prestigious establishments on the Côte d’Azur. The Advocate General, Marie-Laure Ferrier, hit hard in her requisitions, much more than the Assize Court of the Alpes-Maritimes, at first instance, in January 2021.
Last straight line for the trial of the kidnappers of Jacqueline Veyrac before the Assize Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône.
The defendants must explain the kidnapping in broad daylight of Jacqueline Veyrac. This October 24, 2016, in front of the garage of her home in Nice, the wealthy owner of hotel establishments on the Côte d’Azur was kidnapped, tied up and gagged in a Kangoo. Aged 76, she was only released two days later by a passerby on the heights of Nice.
Currently in Dubai, Ms. Veyrac has not returned to testify at this second trial. Other absent from this appeal trial opened on January 31: Giuseppe Serena, designated by the prosecution as “the central figure” of this kidnapping organized with the aim of obtaining a large ransom.
It all started with the megalomania of Giuseppe Serena, the Italian restaurateur who had been entrusted with the management of the Reserve, one of the most prestigious establishments in Nice. Consumed by delusions of grandeur, he could not bear his fall, and like any megalomaniac, for whom it is necessarily the fault of others, he needed a culprit, it was Jacqueline Veyrac.Maître Luc Febbraro, lawyer for Jacqueline Veyrac,
His case was disjointed for health issues, it was he who was once again at the heart of the debates.
An ex-English soldier, a former paparazzi, henchmen recruited in a sensitive neighborhood of Nice: these are the other main actors in this kidnapping.
Before the Assize Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence, the Advocate General, Marie-Laure Ferrier, requested stronger sentences than those pronounced by the Assize Court of the Alpes-Maritimes, in first instance , in January 2021.
Giuseppe Serena absent, the Advocate General demanded the most severe penalties against the trio of kidnappers.
► 20 years’ imprisonment against Ali Gueffaz and Bassem Ben Fekih25 years against Wajdi Ben Hamroun. In the first instance they had been sentenced to fourteen years’ imprisonment for the first two, fifteen years for the third.
► 25 years in prison against the Briton Phillip Dutton, the “tireless organizer of this revenge”. This man who lived in a homeless home in Jersey “left everything, giving in to the patter of a huckstering Italian” to take “revenge for a failed life”, accuses the magistrate. He had been sentenced to fourteen years in prison at first instance.
► 15 years in prison for Luc Goursolas, ex-paparazzi converted into a private detective. The Assize Court of the Alpes-Maritimes had only sentenced him to two years in prison, including one year suspended, for non-denunciation of a crime. It was he who had placed two beacons under the victim’s vehicle, but under the sole pretext of a
supposed investigation for adultery, he always explained.
► 8 years ofe prison were claimed against Salim Bousbia, which would have brought together the organizers of the abduction and the trio of performers, from the Moulins district in Nice. The same sentence was demanded against Ashraf M’Hamdi, acquitted at first instance. According to the Advocate General, her participation in this kidnapping would be demonstrated by the presence of her DNA on the mattress equipping the vehicle in which Jacqueline Veyrac had been sequestered.
► 5 years including 3 suspended against two defendants tried for criminal association.
The trial is scheduled until February 23.