Blue suit with black bands, jacket with epaulets and kepi placed on the desk: this Friday, gendarme Debard came to defend his work, in front of the Assize Court of Douai (North). He was the director of the investigation into the Élodie Kulik affair, when, in 2012, ten years after the crime, DNA finally "spoke". An innovative technique then made it possible to designate, post-mortem, Grégory Wiart. A year later, his friend Willy Bardon was indicted for the rape and murder of the young banker, on the strength of a call to the fire department made just before her death, and on which we can distinguish the voices of men. He has been on appeal since June 14, after his conviction to thirty years in prison at the end of 2019 in Amiens (Somme).
At the time, the Advocate General herself, in her indictment, denounced the "yellow lines" crossed by investigators and recognized certain weaknesses in the investigation.
Fabrice Debard, he wants to demonstrate that it is not chance that led investigators to take an interest in "Bardon Willy", according to the terminology of the police.
And to unroll at the bar an endless list of elements against the accused, an inventory à la Prévert in which we find, pell-mell, his proximity to Grégory Wiart, his voice, recognized on the call to the firefighters, does so. to have pursued a young woman in the car, his side "party animal" ... but also the sextings exchanged with his mistress, a story of false invoices and even a dispute over a case of badly cooked sausages.
Read also Murder of Elodie Kulik: the Assize Court relives the torture of the young woman
A few inaccuracies aside, however, this is not what interests the General Counsel the most.
In line with her colleague from Amiens, minutes in hand, she warns that she will "tackle unpleasant things".
“We can still be surprised at the way you question people, even witnesses!
She thus castigates "long, focused and funnel-shaped questions to which people can only answer yes or no". The gendarme denies it. She quotes: “
It would be unfortunate to learn later that you are aware of certain elements
… It puts pressure, that! »« It was to make people react… People do not say everything »Again,« a question of twenty lines, with a small summary of the charges against Willy Bardon which ends with:
What do you think of all this?
»Great embarrassment at the helm, but the gendarme is holding on. "Well, there's even one, you end up making him say he's the number one suspect!" She is offended. “Today it's true that I might do otherwise,” he finally concedes. But the Kulik file was special… ”
He clings to the only vocal expertise unfavorable to Willy Bardon
This is the whole problem for the defense lawyers, for whom the emotional and even political stake of this file - Nicolas Sarkozy, then Minister of the Interior, had promised Jacky Kulik to find the culprits - took precedence on the reason.
It is not for lack of having put heart into the work: 600 tracks exploited, more than 5,000 genetic comparisons, 20,000 reports ... But for Me Gabriel Duménil, the gendarmes sorely lacked discernment and impartiality, once Willy Bardon in their sights.
As proof, this comment from one of the detainees who recognized the voice of the accused, saying that the gendarmes, a year earlier, already told him "to be 80% sure" of his involvement ... A tunnel vision that denounced his lawyers in turn, citing this other man from the 4x4 club, absent from work the day after the crime, or this other sidekick, also a member of the gang and a potential suspect. "There was nothing against him, defends the investigator, no DNA, except that he liked the party ..."
Among the fifteen genetic traces found on site, none corresponds to Willy Bardon either.
Who, moreover, had in 2012 proposed a levy.
“The press only spoke of a DNA found
(Editor's note: that of Wiart),
he did not take any risk.
"But that's not what the survey said.
It's still very daring on his part, isn't it?
»Supports Me Duménil.
“But if the body was destroyed by fire, it's good that we wanted to destroy traces!
»Cries the investigator, who does not budge, and clings to the voice recognition.
"I can only regret this failure"
On this subject, Me Stéphane Daquo, is still surprised that Fabrice Debard cites only a vocal expertise - criticized - and the only one unfavorable to Willy Bardon. "Well the others, they were complicated, full of X and Y ..." "So we keep the simplest, right? "Well, it's a little more technical, and as soon as it becomes technical ..." he stammers, uncomfortable.
There remains this indisputable blunder in the investigation, which could have been resolved ... as early as the fall of 2002. It appears that at the time, Katy D., Wiart's companion, was sending threatening letters to herself. directly echo the Kulik file. If she has always defended herself, these missives suggest that she may have received confidences on the affair. Even be present herself on the scene, her complete DNA having been identified after the twist of 2012 in the condom incriminating Wiart ... Eight months pregnant at the time of the crime, she was however never worried.
As in 2002, she had simply been prosecuted for "false denunciation", while this strange affair could have put the investigators on the trail of Wiart, a violent man who beat her. Despite the instructions, the gendarmes of the local brigade had in fact not transmitted the information to their colleagues in the “Élodie cell”. "If you had known, what would have happened?" »Asks the general counsel. "We would have heard Wiart, and we would have taken it ..." confirms Fabrice Debard, visibly annoyed. "And we would have identified him in ...?" " " In 2002 ". "How can we explain this failure? This time, the gendarme does not evade. “I don't explain it. I can only regret it. "