before the deputies, the tense hearing of the officials of the prison of Arles

Marc Ollier, director of the Arles prison, and his predecessor, Corinne Puglierini, during the hearing by the law commission of the National Assembly, in Paris, March 30, 2022.

To hear the officials of the central house of Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône), heard on Wednesday March 30 by the law commission of the National Assembly responsible for shedding light on the fatal attack on Yvan Colonna on March 2 , Franck Elong Abé, the murderer of the Corsican detainee, was a peaceful irrecoverable jihadist. More than three weeks after the events, and for nearly three hours, Corinne Puglierini and Marc Ollier, the former director of the prison and his successor, strove to clear this flammable file.

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If Mr. Ollier took office the day before the attack, and therefore knew neither Yvan Colonna nor Franck Elong Abé, Puglierini left his own on February 17 and had plenty of time to look into the case of the veteran from Afghanistan. Citing reports describing him as “discreet”, “calm”, “courteous” when she arrived in Arles in October 2019, she saw no sign of particular danger in the behavior of the detainee. Mr. Elong Abé therefore received training “gardening and green spaces”, finally abandoned due to a lack of appetite for the subject, then was appointed sports assistant in September 2021 – a measure that no prison regulations prevented, she assured – and had also been able to benefit from appointments you with Pôle emploi in anticipation of its release, scheduled for the end of 2023.

“Personality Disorders”

At most, observed the former director of the central house in Arles, as if it had been insignificant alerts, Franck Elong Abé “refused, according to a social worker, to have any contact with his mother, in Cameroon, who does not share his fundamentalist ideas”, and appeared “rooted in his ideas”, according to a specialist in radicalization in prison. As for his lack of passage in the radicalization assessment district (QER), to which the TIS (Islamist terrorists) must theoretically submit, “He had too many personality disorders” to expect any benefit.

Such explanations, interspersed with considerations on the configuration of the premises, the duration of a video surveillance blackout on the day of the attack, the very high rate of absenteeism of 50 days per year and per officer in the prison establishment, n did not fail to arouse the surprise of the parliamentarians present. “I sometimes have difficulty with the answers you give”noted Laurence Vichnievsky (MoDem, Puy-de-Dôme), who wondered about the portrait of Franck Elong Abé drawn up by Mme Puglierini, an inmate “miraculously calmed” once transferred to the central house of Arles after an extremely chaotic prison course.

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