“You had a rather banal life, no offense to the monstrous picture drawn up by the press” launches the lawyer to Nordahl Lelandais on the fifth day of his trial for the murder of Arthur Noyer.
The trial of Nordahl Lelandais for the murder of Arthur Noyer in Chambéry would have been different without the media whirlwind of the Maëlys affair. All parties agree, but the accused’s lawyer, Alain Jakubowicz, makes it a defense. “I am proud to assist a man who was dragged through the mud, who is now called a” serial killer “without a shadow of a beginning of proof,” he had already said in 2018. On the first day of the trial, he repeated it: defense lawyers are “very proud to be this last bulwark” against arbitrariness.
“You had a rather banal life”, launched the lawyer to Nordahl Lelandais Friday on the fifth day of the trial, “no offense to the monstrous picture drawn up by the press”. Alain Jakubowicz, a face known since his interventions at the Barbie trial in 1987, had agreed in September 2017 to defend Nordahl Lelandais, then indicted for the disappearance of Maëlys, 8, a case that moved France. When, in December 2017, his client was indicted for murder in the Noyer affair, the media questioned: is he a serial killer? No tangible element has since been unearthed by investigators, but the idea is slow to evaporate.
“Put in condition”
For Alain Jakubowicz, a “conditioning of public opinion” has spared neither the jurors, nor the witnesses called to the bar since Monday before the Assize Court of Savoy, which judges Nordahl Lelandais until May 12 . The trial of the accused for the death of Maëlys de Araujo could take place in 2022 in Grenoble. “The file, the whole file, nothing but the file,” repeats over and over again the 68-year-old lawyer. He had not spoken to the press for three years. In front of the Assize Court, Alain Jakubowicz placed her on the dock. “The minute we speak, turns in a loop, on a continuous news channel, an overwhelming banner:” he tried to kill me “,” he says Tuesday during the hearing of an ex of his client. He addresses her: “Was there an act of violence, a gesture?”. The person denies it.
“Were you influenced by everything you heard in the media?” the president of the court, François-Xavier Manteaux, had asked him, repeatedly reframing witnesses at the bar who had sometimes “read in the newspapers” what they said at the bar. However, the legal stake of the trial is elsewhere: returned for intentional homicide (murder), Nordahl Lelandais ensures that he had no will to kill Arthur Noyer. Since Monday, his defense has denied the intention of homicide.
Hammered by the defense, sometimes taken up by the prosecution, a question gradually takes shape in the courtroom: did those who loved the accused, consciously or not, blacken the portrait of Nordahl Lelandais in front of the investigators, then this week before the court, because the press classified him on the margins of humanity? Did they not choose to retain only the worst of the accused, because it is difficult to admit that you have loved someone who has killed? “I did not detect someone dangerous,” said a former sexual partner of the accused, adding, moved: “I could very well have ended up like Corporal Noyer”. On the benches of the defense, Me Jakubowicz is annoyed: “What authorizes you to say that? The press? Because in the end, you don’t know anything about it ”.
In 2018, when the bones of Maëlys De Araujo had just been found, the lawyer had already warned journalists: “We all bear and you all bear a heavy responsibility”, “because it weighs on the investigation, because that it weighs on the truth. ” To the jurors of Chambéry, Me Alain Jakubowicz launched to them from the first day of the trial: “For years, you have been showered with information”. “We will ask you to disregard everything you have heard.” “We tried to make Lelandais someone he is not, we all said to ourselves that it was too much” from the media, even admitted, before the trial, the general counsel Marianne Thirard.
To one of his former great friends who doubted his version of the facts and who asked him, Wednesday, to tell the truth, Nordahl Lelandais asked: “What truth? BFMTV and all that? ”