Courts - france - French courts in crisis
French Courts in chaos
The French justice system was in disgrace yesterday
after the spectacular
collapse of a high-profile trial in which 17 people, including
a priest and
a property lawyer, were charged with paedophile and bestial
acts. Two of the
accused - the mothers of six of the alleged child victims
admitted to a court in Saint Omer, near Boulogne, on Tuesday
night that they
had lied about the involvement of almost all the other defendants.
"I lied about everything," said one
of the women, Myriam Delay, 37,
interrupting the proceedings. "I am a sick woman and
a liar ... Roselyne you
did nothing. M. Godard, he too did nothing. David Brunet the
you did nothing ..." One by one she exculpated the other
defendants, who had
been accused by herself and her four children of being involved
elaborate child-prostitution ring, including among other things
children to perform sexual acts with dogs. Her neighbour,
then withdrew her identical accusations.
One of the accused, Alain Marécaux, a
court bailiff and property lawyer, 44,
shouted: "I've lost everything. They stole my children.
Killed my mother."
Several of those cleared, including M. Marécaux, had
spent two and a half
years in jail. One accused man had committed suicide. Two
the priest, Father Dominique Wiel, had been on hunger strike
in prison to
protest their innocence. Marriages have broken up. Jobs had
been lost. The
children of what now appear to be wholly innocent people have
been placed in
care (one of whom tried to commit suicide at the start of
"This is a judicial Chernobyl...
a surrealist folly," said Maître Hubert