A big hour. This is the time it took this Friday to the Assize Court of the Rhône to rule on the criminal responsibility of Alassane S. And the verdict came a little after 16 p.m.: acquittal. This 42-year-old man who was tried since Wednesday for the atrocious murder of an escort-girl in 2019 in Lyon and against whom the attorney general had requested a heavy sentence of twenty-five years in prison was found not guilty. In pre-trial detention for four years, the former street vendor of kebabs must be released this Friday night from prison.
"It is an immense satisfaction, this man has been shouting his innocence since the first minute of his questioning. He is free, at last. An acquittal does not consecrate a failure of the judicial institution but is on the contrary the honor of a judicial democracy, "says Gilles-Jean Portejoie, one of the two lawyers of the accused, reacting to this verdict coming to end three days of debates.
"It was a tough and tough fight, we fought. With this outcome, everyone is over the moon, starting of course with our client and his loved ones, "greets for his part Me Jean-Hubert Portejoie, another counsel of Alassane S., while the latter had once again shown his innocence when the president gave him the floor last.
Wrapped in 40 m of cling film and thrown into the Rhône
Son of a notable Senegalese, the kebab and grill merchant had been implicated because he was the last known customer of Anne-Laure, alias Kitty Nina, a 23-year-old woman who prostituted herself in Lyon via social networks. He was especially the only one – in appearance at least – to know that his appointment with her, set for October 23, 2019 at his home in Lyon, had been postponed from 10:30 to 12:30.
The day of their meeting, Alassane S. explained that he had gone down to the bottom of his building to open to the escort-girl, that he had then seen a small gray car arrive and that the young woman had climbed to the front without saying a word. Anne-Laure will never reappear.
His body floating on the Rhône was discovered seven days later. The autopsy revealed that the victim received a sharp and sharp object blow to the neck and which reached the spinal cord, causing paralysis of the young woman, then wrapped in more than 40 m of food film, then transported to the river in which she was precipitated, probably still alive.
In this case, the prosecution encountered a major difficulty: the absence of DNA. Neither that of Alassane S. nor that of his concubine at the time – implicated before obtaining a dismissal and thus escaping the trial – was found on the body of the victim, the plastic film or his phone. Similarly, the genetic profile of the young woman was not discovered in the couple's apartment despite the careful inspection of the technical and scientific police.
The Attorney General's Office can, of course, appeal the acquittal judgment handed down this Friday by the Assize Court.