Could the tragedy have been avoided? From this Monday, October 2 and until Wednesday, the Assize Court of Loiret judges Taha Zraibia, accused of murdering his wife, Johanna Dias, then 30 years old, with 50 stab wounds. The facts took place before the eyes of their 3-year-old daughter, on December 23, 2018.
Among the unknowns of this case, the question of the potential slowness of justice but also that of the poor application of the arsenal put in place to fight against domestic violence and murders. Before being brutally murdered, Johanna Dias had filed a complaint several times, in 2017 and 2018. Warning signs that, it seems, have been neglected. From now on, his ex-companion faces life imprisonment. He is also being prosecuted for death threats against the victim's parents. He had gone to their home shortly after the incident, before fleeing.
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An infernal spiral
In 2017, Johanna separated from Taha. The two had lived together for twelve years, during which violence punctuated Johanna's daily life. The young mother had managed to extricate herself from this vicious circle of control and, while she found housing, had moved in with her little girl with her parents.
Yet neither separation nor geographical remoteness was enough. On two occasions, and within a month of each other, Taha did not hesitate to break into Johanna's parents' home to beat her. Three complaints were then filed by the young woman, between August and September 2017. The facts are characterized: slaps, hair pulled, a broken eyebrow arch and a traumatized eyeball, says Figaro a source close to the file. Taha Zraibia is tried for these acts and, on May 18, 2018, the thirty-year-old is sentenced by the Montargis Criminal Court to one year in prison including 6 months suspended and probation including prohibition to contact Johanna.
However, on the day of his conviction, the accused is not present to hear the verdict. The man left the Montargis region for southern France. He no longer has an address. "However, for the judge of enforcement of sentences (JAP) to intervene, it is first necessary that the judgment is notified to the convict, by a bailiff," explains to the Figaro Me Pierre-Alexandre Kopp, the lawyer of the civil parties. "The JAP will only take up the case in December 2018: Taha Z. will not be the subject of any real follow-up before the crime," continues the criminal lawyer.
Fear in the stomach
In the summer of 2018, Taha Zraibia reappeared in the Montargis region. On several occasions, he goes to Johanna's house and threatens her. She filed a handrail and two complaints, in June and December. Complaints that, normally, should have led to the revocation of Taha Zraibia's reprieve. Contacted by Le Figaro, the lawyer of this one has not yet responded to our requests.
Meanwhile, Johanna Dias lives with fear in her stomach. She knows that Taha scrutinizes her every move. He harasses her with messages, calls. He threatens her again and again. So Johanna adopts worried reflexes: she takes care to look around and behind her to check that she is not followed when she leaves her work. Because often, Taha Zraibia waits for her outside her home or at the exit of the factory where she works, a knife in hand, she tells the police. He knows his working hours. Just like the address of his new home. "Everywhere, she was in danger," says a relative.
Until the day Taha decides to carry out his threats. Two days before Christmas, on December 23, 2018, the father of the family leaves a nightclub. It's almost 8 a.m. He decides to go first to Johanna's sister. This one is absent. He degrades his car. He then went to Johanna's home, in a district of the commune of Pannes, not far from Montargis, in the Loiret.
Johanna had moved there a few months earlier. She was starting a new life. Did she hear any suspicious noises? Did she see Taha Zraibia through the window? Still, Johanna called her twin brother, John, to warn him that Taha was around. "I'm coming," he assured her, before calling the gendarmerie.
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But that didn't stop the worst from happening. Taha entered through the window and stabbed Johanna 50 times to death in front of their daughter. "Mom, it's over," according to a source close to the case, would have released the father to the little girl, before disappearing, leaving her alone with her mother, lying in a pool of blood. After a few hours on the run, Taha Zraibia was arrested in a hotel in Nemours, Seine-et-Marne, driven by a friend, himself prosecuted before the assizes for "evading arrest or research", indicted for "murder" and placed in pretrial detention. He was then indicted for "murder" and placed in pre-trial detention.
Something went wrong," the prosecutor's office admits. A "something" that cost Johanna's life, and that leaves a little girl forever orphaned. How could such a tragedy have occurred when Johanna had filed several complaints for acts of violence and that Taha Zraibia had been sentenced for the first time, with a ban on approaching the victim? Could the slow pace of implementation of Taha Zraibia's sentence be at the heart of this umpteenth marital murder? Answer Wednesday.