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A French Prosecutor Admitted That the Police Are to Blame for the Skull Fractures of a 73-Year-Old Protestor in Nice

Last updated on 28th July 2019

The 73-year-old activist of “Attac” Geneviève Legay was seriously wounded last Saturday in Nice, near Place Garibaldi.

According to “Nice Matin”, new images, collected during the investigation, allow Jean-Michel Prêtre, the prosecutor of the Republic of Nice, to conclude that “the wounds of Mrs. Legay are the result of the actions of a police officer, and it is now appropriate to assess the voluntary or involuntary nature of these actions.”

Jean-Michel Prêtre announced, in the aftermath, the opening of a judicial inquiry for “voluntary violence by a person in charge of state authority”. He further stated that this has been “entrusted to several investigating judges”.

THE POLICEMAN “CORRECTED HIS TESTIMONY”

“The results finalised yesterday (March 28th) in the evening from the refined examination of many other images, especially from the CCTV of the city of Nice, and the consistency of all of this evidence, led me and the investigators to find that before the arrival of the cordon of his colleagues at the place where Mrs. Legay was, an isolated police officer without a shield had spread his arm, to his right, where Mrs. Legay was, causing the latter to fall,” said Jean-Michel Prêtre in a statement distributed on the sidelines of a press conference held in the late afternoon.

This policeman, who had already been heard earlier this week as a part of the investigation, corrected his testimony this (March 29th) morning by admitting that the person he had removed from his path was not a man, as he had originally stated

The offending police official “faces a sentence of up to 7 years in prison”, the prosecutor added.

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At a press conference earlier this week, the public prosecutor of Nice had indicated that the images available at the time did not allow to reach such a conclusion but ordered the continuation of investigations.

STATE OF HEALTH IS “WORRYING”

The militant of “Attac” 06 and 73-year-old activist has been hospitalised since her serious injury last Saturday (March 23rd) during a police charge. Coming to defy the prohibition to protest in Nice, the septuagenarian fell heavily on her head. Even if her days are no longer in danger, the family of the victim had said on March 26th that her state of health remained “worrying”.

In the aftermath of the events, Macron reacted in the columns of “Nice Matin”, saying that “when we are fragile, we can be jostled, we do not go to places that are defined as prohibited and we do not put ourselves in situations like this, this lady was not in contact with the police, she put herself in a situation where she was going to go to a forbidden place, I deeply regret this, but we must, everywhere, enforce public order, I wish her a speedy recovery, and perhaps a form of wisdom”. These are words that have fuelled the nascent controversy.

On Monday, March 25th, Geneviève Legay’s children had lodged a complaint and their lawyer had accused the police of exerting “pressure” on the victim: “Mrs. Legay received a visit from the police at the hospital, who came to tell her that she was not injured by the police but in other circumstances,” said Mireille Damiano, who is the intermediary in Nice of the (Parisian lawyer) Arié Alimi.

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