Sentenced to eleven and seven years in prison at first instance. The former skinheads Esteban Morillo and Samuel Dufour are on appeal from this Tuesday before the Assize Court of Essonne for the death of Clément Méric. On June 5, 2013 at the end of the day, while groups of young far-left and far-right activists met at the same time in the Saint-Lazare district in Paris, a fight broke out. Clément Méric, 18, dies after receiving a fatal blow to the face.
During the first trial before the Paris Assize Court, the puzzle of testimonies and expertise did not shed any light on the precise course of the facts. Almost eight years after the events, the accused return to the stand for a second time. In 2018, Esteban Morillo was convicted of violence with weapons and in a meeting resulting in death without intention of giving it – he had admitted having given two fatal blows -, and Samuel Dufour for having prevented his comrades from bringing him help. For Jérôme Triomphe, defense lawyer, pleading acquittal is the best because “Esteban and his friends have defended themselves from a premeditated attack”.
Politics at the heart of the conflict?
If the two defendants consider this act as self-defense against anti-fascists because of their political position, the lawyer for the civil party Me Cosma Ouhioun thinks no less. This argument does not prevent the lawyer from thinking that “these are not opinions that are criticized” against the accused, “it is their violence, and this violence is committed because they are people. [qui évoluent] in a bubble where violence is advocated ”.
The end of the trial is set for June 4.