Two school benches have been installed under a plane tree in the courtyard of the Bugeaud barracks, which has been reassigned to the judicial court, in particular to build the vast courtroom there, called “PHN” for “non-standard trial”. Every day between noon and two, for the past month, a dozen women have been waiting there for the resumption of the debates. They are civil parties to the trial of the former dentist Lionel Guedj and his father, Jean-Claude Guedj, tried for voluntary mutilations on nearly 350 of their patients.
It is there, under the plane tree, that the president of the court, Céline Ballérini, sometimes comes to explain a point of law after an intervention by a lawyer. Law, nothing but law, but for these plaintiffs who have waited for this trial for more than ten years, that a judge goes to them to sign the consideration of the judicial institution. A man approaches: “Madam President, you are doing a remarkable job. » Another slide later: “The president greets us, knows our names, our stories, when for Lionel Guedj, we are only an expert number. »
On the first day, Monday February 28, these are “bastards” and other insults that greeted the entry of the two defendants into the courtroom. Four weeks later, we overhear civil parties expounding on the virtues of the adversarial principle. A hell of a long way over the weeks of this criminal trial that looks like an assize court hearing.
“I am no longer ashamed”
But the debates did not only offer a window on the judicial institution, it brought a good number of people out of the isolation imposed by dental suffering, these mouths to hide that some showed in court: “You see the hole in my palace”, launched a woman spreading her jaws wide in court. The victims tell of a myriad of small miracles.
Kamel (the people whose first name only appears did not wish to give their name), who had been having bad nights for ten years, went back to sleeping well the very evening of his testimony at the court bar. “It took a lump from my stomach”, he said. Olivier, this young man who told how he buys his ” teeth “ on Amazon and glue them with Superglue, went to lunch with other civil parties. Faced with those who live the same ordeal, he was not ashamed to remove his dentures to eat. It’s been years since he’s had lunch with other people…
Another says that together they went back to “toothy laughter”. Finally, Samira dared to call her boss to tell him that she was one of the “victims of Guedj”. “All my colleagues googled “Guedj affair” and called me. » Samira was considered haughty with them, because she always refused to have lunch in a group so as not to show her mouth. When he returns to his bank branch, things should change. “Go ahead, give my name, I’m not ashamed anymore”throws to the journalist of the World Michel Genova, in the momentum of rediscovered pride. Yamina, a discreet housekeeper on disability, beneficiary of an RSA, presents as a victory the fact that with her “friends met at the trial”, she now dares to lower her mask to drink coffee in public. When she testified, she said that she never came to the hearings in the afternoon because, after eating, she had to “Dismantle everything, clean and reassemble. And that, I will not do it in the toilets of the court “.
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