While this court decision, which should determine the sporting future of Mohamed Haouas, is eagerly awaited, the testimony of the player's wife could well avoid a conviction. "The stakes are enormous," acknowledged Marc Gallix, Mohamed Haouas' lawyer, while the pillar of the XV of France is judged in immediate appearance this Tuesday in Montpellier for domestic violence.
"The stakes are enormous, it is his professional future: if he is kept in prison, it will be difficult," continued before the beginning of the hearing the counsel of Mohamed Haouas, 29, married and father of two children, arrested late Friday afternoon after hitting his wife in front of the shopping center where she works.
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"The terrible thing is that I have the impression that today, if he is sentenced severely, it's kind of over. He will struggle to bounce back, the Top 14 clubs will not take him back, "insisted Gallix, recalling that the Montpellier player had signed a three-year contract with AS Clermont.
"She doesn't want to leave him"
"But his wife, who is a civil party, will come to testify in his favor and say that she does not want to leave him and that she still gives him a chance," assured the lawyer. "They still lived together for almost ten years without anything happening. (...) On Friday, some relatively serious things happened, but she is ready to forgive him and she will come and speak. That's where it's going to be played."
"This is not usual violence," said Mohamed Haouas' counsel. "I don't know what happened, it's disturbing, it's a crisis of jealousy, he didn't accept that she could have some independence, work."
Early end of career?
Selected 16 times in the jersey of the France team, the Montpellier colossus (1.85 m, 123 kg) could see his career stop if sentenced to prison. Similarly, he could miss the 2023 World Cup in France (September 8-October 28), this case occurring a few days before the announcement of the 42 selected by Fabien Galthié, on June 21.
Excluded against Scotland in February, during the Six Nations tournament, after a first red card received against the same team in 2020, Mohamed Haouas was in the hot seat. This third trial could seal his sporting fate.
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The Montpellier Hérault rugby player had already been sentenced in February 2022, to 18 months in prison suspended, for burglaries of tobacco shops in Montpellier, in 2014. On 12 May, during a second trial, for his participation in a violent fight on 1 January 2014, the prosecution had requested a two-year suspended sentence. The deliberations in this case are expected on June 30.