Accused of gang rape, the appeal trial of the BRI police officers has already been postponed once. It was to take place in March 2020 in Créteil. But a global pandemic decided otherwise. Originally from Canada, Emily Spanton, 41, had arrived in France three days before confinement was decreed by the President of the Republic. She had remained stranded for three weeks in a room rented during this judicial meeting, before being able to take the plane to cross the Atlantic. The courts being closed at the time, the trial of Antoine Q., 42, and Nicolas R., 51, had been postponed to June 22, 2021. If the health situation has improved today and allows its holding, it is because of health concerns of a defense lawyer that the trial could be postponed once again.
According to our information, Antoine Q.’s lawyer, the criminal lawyer Thierry Herzog, felt unwell last week and has not been feeling well for several days. The defense therefore asked the president of the Assize Court of Val-de-Marne, which must judge the case, a new postponement of the trial. She wrote to the parties to inform them that the situation will be reviewed and that a decision made before the jury draw. “Thierry Herzog is Antoine Q’s main lawyer. I find it hard to see myself participating in an assize court where one of the co-defendants is not defended by the lawyer he has chosen because he is suffering ”, explains to 20 minutes Nicolas R.’s lawyer, Me Pascal Garbarini. The latter associated himself with the request for referral made by his colleagues in the defense. ” The question does not even place itself. “
“His client has another lawyer …”
“I am aware that Thierry Herzog looks very ill, but his client has another lawyer”, underlines Me Sophie Obadia, lawyer for Emily Spanton, recalling that the facts of which are accused by his client the two police officers from the antigang date from April 22, 2014, more than seven years ago. The Canadian tourist had met them in Galway, an Irish pub located opposite the Quai des Orfèvres where they used to live. During this evening where alcohol flows freely, Antoine Q. and Nicolas R. invite the young woman to visit the premises of the Parisian judicial police, on the other side of the Seine. A few hours later, she comes out crying and claiming to have been raped by the two officials on several occasions.
After three weeks of trial, the two defendants were found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison. The Assize Court had put forward “the constant statements” of the victim, judging that the defendants had made “evolving statements” which were “not very credible”. They both appealed against the ruling, and were placed under judicial review pending a retrial. Nicolas R. “contests these accusations with force”, adds his lawyer, Me Garbarini. “He will explain the facts with which he is accused” and intends “to demonstrate that the accusations brought against him by Mrs. Spanton are absolutely not validated by the facts”.
A complainant “worn out” by the length of the proceedings
For her part, Emily Spanton is “worn out” by the length and heaviness of the procedure. But she remains “serene” and “combative despite her limited resources, despite the distance” from her country of origin. “She is very courageous,” said her lawyer, Me Obadia. “She’s determined, but it’s a long time. If the trial takes place, the verdict is expected on July 8.
20 seconds of context
20 minutes decided to anonymize the police officers implicated in this case because, although they are now suspended from their functions, they may, as a former member of the BRI, be covered by the decree of 7 April 2011 relating to the respect of the anonymity of certain police officers.