Saturday, December 4

Omar Raddad case: justice examines a new request for review

Moroccan gardener Omar Raddad, convicted of the murder of a wealthy widow in 1991 and partially pardoned since, arrives at the Paris courthouse on November 25, 2021 Alain JOCARD

“Omar killed me”: justice examines Thursday behind closed doors a new request for revision of the trial of Moroccan gardener Omar Raddad, convicted of the murder in 1991 of a rich widow, Ghislaine Marchal, whom he has fiercely denied for thirty years.

Omar Raddad, who received a partial pardon, arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. at the Paris courthouse, AFP noted.

Neither the applicant nor his lawyer Sylvie Noachovitch made a statement before the start of the hearing, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. behind closed doors before the investigative committee of the Court of Revision.

The request for review, in one of the most famous and controversial criminal cases in France, is based on the report in 2019 of an expert who made new analyzes of DNA traces discovered in 2015 on seals and who did not not owned by Omar Raddad.

These new genetic fingerprints correspond to four men – two are perfectly usable, two others partially – and were found on two doors and a rafter of the cellar in which the body of Ghislaine Marchal, 65, was discovered on June 24, 1991.

On these two doors was written in blood “Omar killed me” (sic) and “Omar has t”.

For the defense of Omar Raddad, whose first request for revision was rejected in 2002, “these new elements represent real hope”.

Me Noachovitch says she is “convinced that they are an upheaval of the case and obviously raise doubts about the guilt of Omar Raddad”.

The investigating committee will not render its decision for several weeks.

It can either reject the request, or order additional information, or forward it to the Court of Revision, which will then have the last word on the organization of a new trial, an extremely rare event in France.

Sentenced in 1994 to eighteen years in prison, without the possibility of appealing at the time, Omar Raddad had benefited from a partial pardon from President Jacques Chirac, then from parole in 1998. This pardon does not constitute cancellation of condemnation and does not make him innocent.

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