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"Cold cases": 5 minutes to understand how the new survey center created by Dupond-Moretti will operate


The Minister of Justice announced on Wednesday the launch next March of a judicial hub dedicated to unsolved crimes. A breakthrough ma

During the investigation of the "Hail" affair, it was thanks to the determination of the examining magistrate and investigators, who took DNA samples from a hundred gendarmes, that justice succeeded in identify the killer wanted for more than thirty years.

The creation of a judicial pole dedicated to the resolution of unsolved cases, on March 1 in Nanterre, announced Wednesday by the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti aims to repeat this kind of tracking.

Three investigating judges, a first vice-president and two vice-presidents, “detached to 100%”, will have the heavy task of dusting off files lost in the limbo of the courts and solving the French “cold cases”.

Affected cases

No less than 240 current cases would be affected by this pole. "Basically, we can not communicate the list of files which are identified as likely to be transmitted to the pole", however, warns the Ministry of Justice to the Parisian. If the emblematic “cold cases” such as the Grégory affair or that of the disappearance of little Maëlys immediately come to mind, this new cell should above all benefit the most unknown cases which are most likely to “die”. judicially ”.

"The biggest victims of this current system are the hundreds of unknown crimes, which are not kept alive by the media coverage and which are lost until they become comatose files", confirms the Parisian Alain Bauer, professor of criminology at the Conservatory national arts and crafts and which hosts the program "At the end of the investigation" on France 2.

Last March, the publication of a report led by a working group headed by Jacques Dallest, Attorney General of Grenoble, already called for the creation of a “cold case criminal investigation office” responsible for creating “a real criminal memory. ".

“There are cases which for 30 years have not been treated as it should, for which the judges do nothing.

But if we do not seek the truth we will never find it, ”confirmed Me Corinne Hermann on BFMTV after the announcement of Eric Dupond Moretti.

Lawyer in particular of the parents of Isabelle Mesnage, killed in 1986 by Jacques Rançon, it was she who had indicated to the investigators that the young woman had undergone the same mutilations as the two other Perpignan victims of the killer while the investigation stalled.

How will it work?

The arrival of this specialized court should not initially upset the system in place where "95% of the judiciary is handled by local services", according to Alain Bauer.

"This pole will not have exclusive competence like the national anti-terrorism prosecution", explains Place Vendôme.

The handling of a case will be done at the request of the examining magistrate currently on the case to "not interfere with the serenity of the investigations".

"A cosaisine with the initial investigators and the specialized services is also quite possible", assured Wednesday the Minister of Justice.


Monique Olivier, wife and diabolical accomplice of serial killer Michel Fourniret

Beyond a better organization at the national level, this pole should also allow better collaboration with foreign services in the case of serial crimes and itinerant killers.

"The creation of a more sensitive pole, more trained in these questions can make it possible to have more easily contacts with the European equivalents, if ever one were to suspect that the person could have gone abroad and committed other acts. “, Estimated Jean-Baptiste Perrier, director of the Institute of penal sciences and criminology, in an interview with France Culture last May.

Already a "cold cases" division at the gendarmerie

"The investigating magistrates of this new pole will have all the freedom to continue with the initial investigators or to seize a service specialized in unsolved crimes, such as the Diane division in Pontoise", clarified Éric Dupond-Moretti.

This cell of the gendarmerie specializing in the resolution of unsolved crimes is a “police” version of this new judicial pole which should therefore work in close collaboration with it.

To read also "Cold cases": how to better treat unsolved crimes in France?

It is also on this model that the new judicial pole was built. Inaugurated in October 2020, the Diane division (for Unsolved Affairs Division) brings together in a team all the skills necessary for the resolution of complex cases "between 2 hours and 30 years old". "We have investigators specializing in the detection of seriality, in the science of behavior or the life course of the criminal," explains Lieutenant Marie-Laure Brunel Dupin, head of the division.

"We were impatiently awaiting the creation of this judicial center and we are delighted to be able to work with this first-rate partner from now on," said Lieutenant-Colonel Brunel-Dupin.

The Diane cell notably made it possible to solve, in the summer of 2020, a crime committed almost 20 years ago: that of the murder of Chantal Chillou of Saint Albert, found dead in the Drôme in 2001.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2022-01-13

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