At the sight of the car of the customs officers, he had taken the powder of escampette, running straight on the A4 motorway from the toll of Coutevroult towards Paris. But he was going to hit a guardrail at the Bussy-Saint-Georges area and be arrested. Good pick for the customs officers seine-et-marne who – on this evening of September 10 – had got their hands on 20,000 ecstasy pills and 500 g of cannabis resin. The drugs were stored in a suitcase, stored in the trunk of the Volvo S 80.
The customs officers had then – on the instructions of the prosecutor's office of Meaux – entrusted the motorist to the judicial police of Meaux. On Wednesday, the time for explanations had come for this 25-year-old Dutchman, who was to be tried by the criminal court of Meaux, for transport and importation of narcotics and refusal to comply. Two lawyers – one of whom came from the Netherlands – and an English-language interpreter assisted the defendant at the hearing.
Second reference in this case
But even before the debates began, the question was whether the level of English of Dutch was sufficient to follow the proceedings: a question raised by the French lawyer, who asked the court to be lenient with their client. "I do not want us to be instrumentalized," immediately reacted President Cécile Lemoine, who considered the referral of the case to avoid a defect of form.
As it happens, on September 13, the trial had already been postponed for the first time. The young man had been remanded in custody. Deputy prosecutor Eric de Valroger shared the president's analysis, also fearing that a problem of interpretation could become a cause of nullity in the procedure. The Dutchman immediately assured that he could follow the proceedings, his lawyers began to backpedal. In vain.
The court decided to postpone the case to October 13, to avoid "the slightest misunderstanding". In a loud voice, in front of his parents – panicked – who had made the trip from the Netherlands, the defendant spoke of his difficult conditions of incarceration: "There are three of us in the cell, I sleep on the floor, it's not normal". The prosecutor's office requested the continued pre-trial detention of this foreign national, while the defense pleaded for a judicial review for their client, assuring that he "will represent himself before this court". The judges sent the defendant back behind bars.