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Yvan Colonna’s family takes the state to court

The family of Yvan Colonna, the Corsican independence activist sentenced for the assassination of the prefect Erignac, took action against the State on Wednesday April 5 before the Marseille administrative court for his fatal attack by a fellow prisoner on March 2 at the prison. from Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône).

The parents, wife, brother, sister and two children of Yvan Colonna “consider that the prison administration is legally responsible for his death”explained M.and Patrice Spinosi, one of the family’s lawyers, in a statement to Agence France-Presse (AFP). He recalls that article 44 of the law of November 24, 2009 provides that “the prison administration must ensure that each detained person has effective protection of his physical integrity in all collective and individual places”.

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“The State is thus required to compensate the heirs of a prisoner who died as a result of violence committed within a prison establishment by another prisoner”observes M.and Spinosi, who told AFP that he was claiming 200,000 euros in damages for Yvan Colonna and 100,000 euros for each member of his family.

“An independent and impartial tribunal is now responsible for judging the links between the State’s inaction and the death of Yvan Colonna”continues the lawyer, according to whom “The administrative court will have to decide by the end of the year on this request”.

The 61-year-old nationalist activist was very seriously injured on March 2 by a fellow prisoner, Franck Elong Abé, 36, presented as a “jihadist”, who had attacked him in the prison gym. Yvan Colonna had been a victim “from strangulation with bare hands and then from suffocation” with a plastic bag, had specified the prosecutor of Tarascon, Laurent Gumbau.

Yvan Colonna, sentenced three times to life for the assassination of the prefect Claude Erignac, shot several times in the head in 1998 in Ajaccio, died on March 21 at the Marseille hospital where he had been transferred and where he remained permanently in a coma.

Explosion of anger across Corsica

According to several sources, the aggressor of Yvan Colonna justified his act by the fact that the Corsican activist allegedly blasphemed and “badly spoken of the Prophet”. A version judged however “unbelievable” by the director of the central house of Arles, Marc Ollier, who estimated, during a hearing before the law commission of the National Assembly, that the murderer “wanted to pay someone famous”.

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This attack provoked an explosion of anger throughout Corsica, with sometimes violent demonstrations. Anger motivated in particular by the duration of the attack on Yvan Colonna, nearly eight minutes, under the eye of a surveillance camera, without any supervisor intervening. It was the assailant himself who alerted the guards, explaining that Colonna had “feels unwell”.

The director of the central house of Arles and the director of the penitentiary administration Laurent Ridel assured during their hearing at the National Assembly that a single agent could not ” no see “ the 49 cameras of the wing concerned.

Le Monde and AFP

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