“Few victims of LBD gunfire have been able to benefit from a trial, because the victims must file a complaint, an investigation must be opened, the author must be identified and the prosecutor's office must decide to prosecute. My client was able to overcome all these obstacles, it is exceptional when it should be the norm for all ”, specified Me Bussière, Lola Villabriga's lawyer, before the hearing. For this exceptional trial, the procedure used was uncommon, that of appearance on prior admission of guilt.
This Friday, the public hearing was held behind closed doors, where the police official recognized the facts of careless injuries that occurred on December 18, 2018, in Biarritz, during a demonstration of yellow vests against the preparation from the G7 summit in the city. When she received the projectile that was not intended for her, "Lola was on a high bench and filming the demonstration with the camera of the art school where she was studying, it was a kind of vacation duty "Summarizes his lawyer.
“Two shots were fired at the same second, the first hit the target, who had thrown a projectile, the other hit Lola Villabriga. The policeman was below, his shot unfortunately hit the victim located above, "added the lawyer for the Bordeaux police, Me Sapata. The 18-year-old young woman at the time of the facts had a triple jaw fracture, three months of ITT. The purpose of Friday's hearing was not to reconstruct the facts but to ask questions.
The victim and the police exchanged a few words in private
"Is it normal that there are these types of mutilating and potentially lethal weapons in demonstrations when there are no major difficulties in maintaining order? "Says Ms. Bussière before citing the requests for prohibition of LBD made by the Defender of Rights and the reminder of Amnesty International to the French police" to stop using excessive force against the demonstrators. "
The defense, which recalled that "everything was not that calm that day" added: "The right to demonstrate is acquired as soon as it is authorized. After the hearing, the victim and the police exchanged a few words in private. "I had in front of me a policeman who looked me in the eyes and who expressed his regrets to me", confides the young woman before adding "unfortunately some will not have this chance to see their gunman denounce themselves to their hierarchy to report the injury they have caused ”.
Unions present to support their colleague
In front of the courtroom, union representatives from the security forces came to support their colleague. For Olivier Houreau, deputy secretary general of the Alliance union, "the criminal sanction is proportional to the involuntary act and shows that the police are not above the law". A sanction, however, hooted in court, by the supporters of Lola Villabriga. "This policeman gets a simple fine when he deserves a conviction and a ban on carrying a weapon and it will not even be entered in his criminal record, he is completely whitewashed," laments Florent, who came expressly from Montpellier ( Hérault).
For Lola Villabriga, the 1350 euros are rather "a symbolic sanction but it is a sanction all the same, I especially wanted this personal trial to raise the public debate". Around her, several members of the collective of "mutilated for example" were present, such as Antoine Boudinet who had his hand torn off by a tear gas canister on December 8, 2018 in Bordeaux.
Newsletter - Essential newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to allow you to receive our news and commercial offers. Find out more
Injured “yellow vests” create “the mutilated for the example”
"We hope that each mutilated person will be able to do justice but above all that the use of these weapons stops, it is too easy to convict a single police officer, it is the Minister of the Interior who must take responsibility" , adds the Yellow Vest.
A little behind, Lola's father struggles to contain his anger. "The punishment is ridiculous, it is incomprehensible that one can continue to arm the police in this way. We are talking about the physical violence caused by LBDs but not psychological injuries. As a father, I saw Lola panicking because the crowd now frightens her, but also when meeting people in uniform, it's traumatic. "