What to show? What to hear? This question has haunted the trial of the November 13 attacks since its beginning, seven months ago. What degree of violence can a court of assizes assume in the name of the manifestation of the truth? The special assize court of Paris had so far made the choice of modesty in order not to add to the pain of the civil parties: only rare photos, often censored, have hinted at a few corpses on the Parisian terraces. But we had never seen images of the most unbearable crime scene: the Bataclan mass grave and its ninety dead.
We had to wait for the 111and hearing day, Friday 1er April, so that the president, Jean-Louis Périès, agrees to project about thirty photos taken in the concert hall after the massacre. The court also broadcast three excerpts from an audio recording of the attack picked up by a dictaphone abandoned by a spectator. These two requests came from the association of victims Life for Paris and its president, Arthur Dénouveaux, himself a survivor of the Bataclan. A debate between lawyers for the civil parties and some representatives of the defense took place on Thursday on the subject.
The courtroom is packed, as rarely since the start of this trial. Some 250 civil parties made the trip. “We will start with the audio recording”, said the president. The three excerpts to be aired, totaling around nine minutes, are from a two-hour, thirty-eight-minute file that captured the horror live, from the first shots to the onslaught of the research and intervention brigade (BRI). This is the soundtrack of the massacre. Everyone holds their breath.
First audio: the irruption of the terrorists
The first extract lasts two minutes and sixteen. We are at the very beginning of the recording, which captured the irruption of the terrorists during the Eagles of Death Metal concert. The first twenty-two seconds of this sequence had already been broadcast at the start of the trial, on September 17, 2021, but the sound had been cut off just after the first shots were fired. This time, we will hear the terror that seized the 1,498 spectators present that evening.
The court starts the audio. We hear the last ten seconds of the concert: a few happy guitar riffs ring out in the room, then what we take for a drum solo. We quickly understand that it is not about that, a terrible feedback rises like a cry… The shots follow one another in bursts, interspersed with howls. In the confusion, we seem to hear: “Hide yourself”, ” Whore ! »
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