For the fifth consecutive day, the Assize Court of New Caledonia is immersed in the trial of Olivier Pérès, tried for the assassination Eric Martinez, on September 13, 2018, in Nouméa. This Friday morning, the Advocate General ended a scathing indictment by asking for eighteen years of criminal imprisonment against the accused.
Eighteen years of criminal imprisonment, this is the sentence required by the Advocate General against Olivier Pérès, this Friday morning. A look back at Christian Pasta’s long speech, and the start of the defense argument (read here):
Fifth day of the Pérès trial: at midday, report by Natacha Lassauce-Cognard
Thursday, the fourth day of trial ended with the argument of Me Isabelle Mimran. “It’s a shame to put yourself on the same footing as the boy who lost his father”notably launched the lawyer for the civil party, who spoke after Me Martin Calmet. “This story is banal, as my colleague reminded me before me. It happens everywhere, in all strata of society. Everything else is just smoke and smoke”she still asserted.
“I accuse the local psychiatric expert of having missed the personality of the accused”, pointed out Me Mimran, who ended by quoting the book by Olivier Pérès. More exactly a reference to the Bible: “The God of peace crushes Satan under your feet.” Which makes the lawyer say: “That’s successful assassination.”
This Friday morning, place for the requisitions of the Advocate General. Christian Pasta returns, in a loud voice, to the terms used by the accused in the famous book. He quotes passages that describe him:It’s a hyena, a jackal throwing itself on its prey in agony (…) dressed in a robe red with the blood of his victims.” “Who did I kill?”exclaims Christian Pasta. “Come on, let’s be serious! The Advocate General is the one who defends the interests of society. (…) Murder is the fundamental prohibition of society.”
He quotes Robert Badinter, famous lawyer and former Keeper of the Seals, in his speech against the death penalty delivered before the National Assembly in October 1981: “Who has the right to kill today?” . “Today, it is Olivier Pères who decides to kill”claims Christian Pasta. “This shows all the power of the accused, an adored, adored surgeon, who operated on half of Caledonia.”
“So why did Olivier Pérès kill Éric Martinez?”, he continues. According to the Advocate General, the motives are numerous and yet, no evidence testifies to the threats of which the Peres claimed to be victims from their neighbour. “That Olivier Pérès was threatened, terrified, I don’t believe in it”asserts Christian Pasta. “I draw the conclusion that the victim never threatened Olivier Pérès, his wife or his children.” It develops : “What do the witnesses say? Éric Martinez loved Mrs. Pérès, he wanted to start his life over. But then, who was he bothering?”
The Advocate General identifies several potential motives for the accused. “His wife’s adultery with a boyfriend of ten years”. Or : “Wasn’t he afraid that this story would become known and that someone would publish Mrs. Peres’ adventures with Éric Martinez?” But also : “Isn’t he afraid, at some point, that his wife will return to Eric Martinez?”
Christian Pasta wants to come back to September 11, the date on which Alexis Bouroz, the former public prosecutor, welcomes the Fathers couple to receive their complaint. The same day, he orders a “be forwarded”, a directive for the police to investigate. Two days later, the accused fired three shots, one of which was fatal, at his neighbour. “You know, it’s like medicine”comments the Advocate General. “You can’t go faster than the music.”
What about premeditation? “The defendant placed his pawns for two weeks, pretending that Eric Martinez wanted to kill him”portrays Christian Pasta. “Olivier Pérès trains in shooting in the mangrove before the facts, targets are found at the Pérès (…) On September 9, Dr. Pérès sends his wife an x-ray of a head pierced by an arrow, noting: ‘I’ve had his skin, the children have nothing to be afraid of.'”
The Advocate General continues. “Olivier Pérès leaves the hospital on September 13 at 4:41 p.m. He does not take his plastic cartridge pistol, which is in his glove box. He goes to his house, has a tea, smokes a cigar, changes his shoes, fetch his 12-gauge shotgun with side-by-side barrels and a sawed-off barrel, with four nine-grain cartridges. That’s 23 minutes in total until the first shot at Éric Martinez.”
After having detailed what he considers to be acts of premeditation, Christian Pasta dwells on what seems to him an execution. Olivier Pérès, he recalls, accused him, earlier in this trial, of having said that he sawed off the barrel of the gun and put a grain of barley back. The Advocate General replies that he bases himself on ballistic expertise and wonders about the choice of such a weapon.
In front of the court, rifle in hand, he demonstrates that to use this weapon, the safety catch must be removed. “Among all the ammunition, the nine-grain buckshot with a normal rifle leaves no chance for an animal that is hunted. But with a sawed-off barrel, it’s a hecatomb”he says. “The longer a cannon, the farther the spray. The shorter a cannon, the closer the spray sprays.” Buckshot, insists Christian Pasta, is extremely dangerous.
“When [Olivier Pérès] gets out of his cart, his gun is loaded with two cartridges”he describes again. “Leashes are found next to the victim’s body.” She therefore did not have her hands in her pockets, as has been presented, he adds. “The accused fired. A first shot, a second shot then a third shot.” The Advocate General addresses the jurors:What did the injured Eric Martinez say to the defendant at this time? What goes through the mind of Olivier Pérès? The surgeon doctor does not come to treat him, when he has treated half of New Caledonia?
Christian Pasta continues by returning to an instruction that was long, two and a half years. A procedure marked by the detention of the accused at Camp-Est, his stay at the CHS, his judicial review…. “There have been so many vagaries in this case that many magistrates have succeeded one another.”
While he has been in court for almost two hours, he recalls that Eric Martinez has never been convicted, his criminal record is clean. By evoking this associate who complained about his behavior, he speaks of a matter of money, “the business community is ruthless”. Regarding the relationship that the victim may have had with one of his employees, he launches: “The young woman does not seem to be unhappy, she did not complain. (…) None of the women complained of sexual assault.” As for his imaginary exploits: “He’s not a mythomaniac”considers Christian Pasta. “He says things to make up for what he’s not.”
He dwells on the other hand on the wife of the accused. “Does Mrs. Peres not have a big responsibility in what happened?”, asks Christian Pasta. For him, “[elle] leaves for Vietnam, she learns via Éric Martinez that her husband has a breeding ground at the Médipôle to have extra-marital relations. (…) There follows a desire, on the part of Mrs. Pérès, to divorce her husband, to leave to settle with Éric Martinez in Ibiza. According to the Advocate General, “the extra-marital relationship began in November 2017. It was not when the adultery returned from Vietnam.” Evoking several points which seem to him problematic in his declarations, he speaks of lies by omission, and lets go: “The triggering event in this case is Mrs. Pérès.”
Then Christian Pasta returns to the psychiatric expertise established by Dr Southwell. It evoked the influence having led to an alteration of discernment and therefore a moral constraint. A cause exonerating responsibility, in which the Advocate General does not believe. “The devil exists but he is not in the urn that contains Eric’s ashes. The devil is in front of me.” And to require eighteen years of criminal imprisonment against Olivier Pérès, accompanied by an additional sentence.