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"The Outreau affair": autopsy of a judicial fiasco on France 2


The channel offers a series of four 50-minute episodes on this news item, which has had an international impact.

On February 22, 2001, in Outreau, Pas-de-Calais, shortly after the Dutroux affair, Myriam Badaoui and Thierry Delay, suspected of sexual abuse of their children, were indicted.

Questioned by the police, their four boys recount atrocious acts committed by their parents and also accuse neighbors of rape.

These would have made "manners" to them.

In the office of judge Burgaud, in charge of this investigation, Myriam Badaoui then reveals the existence of a pedophile network and lists dozens of names, including those of certain local notables.

That's all it takes for this sordid local news item to suddenly have a national and international impact.

Read alsoOutreau: 20 years ago, France fell into the trap of an extraordinary affair

Thirteen innocent people in prison

Lies, false pretences, twists and turns: the Outreau affair is a sordid soap opera that will also become the biggest legal fiasco that France has ever known.

Thirteen innocent people are sent to prison.

Some will stay there for three years.

Judge Burgaud will then be questioned during a parliamentary commission, broadcast on television, intended to point out the dysfunctions of his investigations.

In a formidable documentary series (4 × 50 min), France 2 retraces this affair which has had an irreparable mark on French justice and society.

"The challenge was, with the passing of time and by giving voice to its protagonists, to bring it back to light"

, details producer Luc-Martin Gousset.

To tell this extraordinary news item, co-director Olivier Ayache-Vidal has chosen to mix archive images, testimonies and reconstructions, allowing you to navigate, like the case itself, between reality and fiction.

Jonathan Delay (left), son and victim of the Badaoui-Delay couple, on the set of the documentary series.

He attends the reconstitution of a scene taking place during his childhood.

@Agathe Vernet

The voice of child victims and the acquitted

After two years of work, including eighteen months of writing, he delivers, with Agnès Pizzini, co-screenwriter and co-director, a singular work that transports viewers between past and present in a rhythmic and perfectly coherent ballet.

The real protagonists discuss it with the actors who embody them or attend the reconstructions of the scenes they experienced twenty years earlier, offering a subtle mise-en-abîme.

The film gives voice to the child victims – Jonathan Delay, third son of the Badaoui-Delay couple, and François-Xavier Marécaux, son of the judicial officer Alain Marécaux – and to certain acquitted persons.

“We couldn't tell everyone's story.

We have chosen to solicit the people who found themselves at the appeal trial in Paris”


Read also Outreau affair: from bruised innocence to murderous innocence

Thus, Father Dominique Wiel, Thierry Dausque, Alain Marécaux and Daniel Legrand agreed to tell their truth.

"I find that their words are much richer twenty years later, because they have digested and integrated this story

," she continues.

All deliver extremely strong testimonies, imbued with a poignant sincerity, between dull anger and on edge emotions.

Abbé Wiel, with an infectious laugh despite the tragedy, showed incredible resilience.

A poignant sincerity

If all have rebuilt their lives, the wound remains very present.

Does witnessing allow them to soothe the pain?

“This film has neither aggravated nor diminished the anxieties that I may have.

My therapy is over.

I live with Outreau, and its ghosts continue to haunt me

, confides Alain Marécaux.

It was important for me to talk about the case again because it allows us to denounce what happened in France, in a democracy and a Republic.

This is part of an unfortunate French judicial past.

It is necessary that the new generations can know, in the hope that this never happens again.


Lawyers in the case and some journalists also come to feed the story.

No trace, however, of the Boulogne-sur-Mer police who investigated.

All refused to participate in the film.

The Ministry of the Interior has also prohibited all serving police officers from testifying.

Judge Burgaud, for his part, did not wish to speak.

Simply reprimanded by the Superior Council of the Judiciary in 2009 for his notorious shortcomings in this case, he was not struck off, but exfiltrated to the Court of Cassation as general counsel in the third civil chamber.

The victims are still waiting for his apologies...

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-17

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