The penalties were less severe than at first instance.
Sentenced at first instance to seven and eleven years in prison, two former skinheads appeared on appeal since Tuesday, May 25 before the assizes of Essonne, in the case of the death of Clément Méric, in 2013. They receive sentences of eight and five years in prison during this appeal trial.
Esteban Morillo, 28, and Samuel Dufour, 27, both wearing shirts, greeted their sentence calmly.
"You will be taken back to the remand center," said the president of the Assize Court Thierry Fusina, specifying that the motivation sheet explaining the choice of the court will be communicated on Monday.
"A fortuitous meeting", a "sudden brawl" and a "single scene of violence": sentences of seven and eleven years of imprisonment were required Friday against the two former skinheads on appeal in Évry for the death by anti-fascist activist Clément Méric in 2013 in Paris.
To read also Death of Clément Méric: the ex-skinhead, "sorry", describes an "ambush"
"If the meeting is fortuitous, the file shows that the death of Clément Méric was not the result of chance, there was a rise in power and a form of hatred", had launched the Advocate General, Philippe Courroye, before the Assize Court of Essonne.
He had requested the heaviest sentence against Esteban Morillo, 28, already sentenced to eleven years at first instance and who admitted to being the author of the fatal blows.
He faced up to twenty years in prison for fatal blows carried out in a meeting and with a weapon.
Seven years had been requested for his co-accused Samuel Dufour for his "co-action" in the fight, even if he did not hit Clément Méric.
He had already been sentenced to this sentence in 2018.
"A toxic ideology"
On June 5, 2013, Clément Méric, an 18-year-old student and anti-fascist activist, collapsed on the asphalt in the middle of Paris, after being hit in the face, during a brief brawl between extreme left and extreme militants. right, on the sidelines of a private sale of clothing from the Fred Perry brand.
The accused "are not tried because they are or have been skinheads, but whether we like it or not, in the chain of events, in the background there is a worrying fuel, that of sectarianism, of the ostracism, the exclusion of those who do not think like us, "continued the Advocate General, referring to their" common drift "towards a" toxic ideology ".
Read also Death of Clément Méric: an accused assumes his past as a skinhead, but not the violence
On the defense side, Me Triomphe, lawyer for Esteban Morillo, lambasted "the ideologization of the trial" and the "madness" of a "political" indictment.
For him, in this case, everything has been "reversed": "the attacked have become aggressors".
He pleaded for acquittal "in the name of self-defense".
The death of Clément Méric is "unbearable, but it is not a criminal offense", also declared Me Grégoire Etrillard, lawyer of Samuel Dufour.
In his three-hour plea, as throughout the trial, the lawyer tried to put “extreme right-wing violence” and “extreme left-wing violence” on the same level.
For him, the fight between the two groups of young people is part of a "gang logic", with anti-fascist activists anxious to exclude the "fascists" from their "territory", that is to say the apartment. where the private sale of clothing took place.
"Scratches", according to the defense
At first instance, Samuel Dufour had been sentenced for the death of Clément Méric, even if he had not hit him: according to the Paris Assize Court, he had prevented his comrades from coming to his aid, in particular by injuring an anti-fascist activist on the arm.
Two small bruises!
Seven years for that, it's amazing!
», Protested Me Grégoire Etrillard, brandishing several times the photograph of the injured arm, and endeavoring to limit the responsibility of his client to these only wounds.
To read also Death of Clément Méric: at the assizes, the former skinhead affirms himself repented
On the contrary, the Advocate General insisted on the aggravating circumstance of "the meeting" and the "co-action" of Samuel Dufour.
For him, the group was the engine of the brawl: “What would Morillo have been alone?
What would Dufour have been alone?
Two weeks of hearing did not remove all doubts about the exchange of blows which lasted only a few seconds.
For the prosecution, the group of Méric did not present any threat whereas after this "sudden brawl", described as a "single scene of violence", Esteban Morillo seemed "rather proud" in front of Méric "on the ground, the face in lint, the brain already flooded with blood ”. On several occasions during the trial, Esteban Morillo and Samuel Dufour said they were sorry for the death of Clément Méric, but did not wish to speak Friday after the pleadings of their lawyers.