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at the bar, the words of the children of Catherine Burgod

The street where Catherine Burgod was stabbed several times in December 2008, in Montreal-la-Cluse, Ain, on December 9, 2014.

An astonishingly blue lake, endless fir trees, the severe line of a circus of mountains and in the middle Montréal-la-Cluse, 3,800 inhabitants, in Haut-Bugey. “We are not a territory, where we easily say that we love each other”, says Cédric Arduini, 32, in front of the Assize Court of Ain, in Bourg-en-Bresse. How long had it been since he had held his sister Justine in his arms? They did it the day before, when they were both preparing to face this day expected and dreaded for thirteen years: to testify in court. Until April 4, the trial is held for the murder of their mother, Catherine Burgod, killed on December 19, 2008, with 28 stab wounds at the Montreal-La Cluse post office, where she was employed.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The mysterious murder of the postwoman of Montreal-la-Cluse judged at the Assizes of Ain

On the third day of hearing, his family is heard. “My mother was gentle, present, then suddenly, I no longer saw her. They didn’t talk to me about it. I understood late what had happened, by reading things on the Internet”, explains in turn Justine, 21 years old. She was 8 at the time. It seems like it’s the first time that she talks about herself, that she talks about that. “I have very few memories of my childhood, we all put them aside so as not to hurt too much. »
In the box of the accused, Mamadou Diallo keeps this motionless face, unchanged since the start of the hearing. He is the same age as Cédric Arduini, they attended the same college in the center of the town. At the hearing, their gazes escape each other. “I would have liked to avoid it being said. I would like to forget it, resumes Arduini at the helm. But, we are a small village, behind closed doors. Everyone knows each other. »

His grandfather was secretary general at the municipality, his mother ran the post office, “a great lady who took care of others was much more than just an agency”. They gave him the vocation of public service, his teachers in high school would have seen him become mayor of the village. Cédric Arduini intended to live there after studying land use planning. “But over there, I am the son of the victim, it is not glorious. I don’t want this status. » He wants to protect himself, not to complain. ” Go forward. » The words resonate like a family motto. In Lyon, where he settled, many of his friends discovered his story in the press, as the trial approached.

The father cannot come to testify

Mario Arduini, his father, was the first suspect in the murder. At the time, the couple is in the middle of a divorce, he has just learned that his ex-wife is expecting a child from a new companion. “The gendarmes told me: “The very close ones are the first suspects. We will do our job”. » He answered them “go ahead, do what it takes”. Innocent, Mario Arduini finds himself alone with the children. His own father died young, there were six of them at home, growing up as best they could. “I didn’t know this maternal thing, I didn’t know what it was like to raise kids. Catherine took care of it. » He worked late, commercial manager in insurance, an autodidact. The backlash quickly fell on him. “I felt the eyes on me. At the customers, they only talked to me about that. »

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