Accused of the bloody murder of a postwoman in 2008 in Montreal-la-Cluse, Mamadou Diallo was acquitted on Monday by the Assize Court of Ain “benefit of the doubt”. He said to himself “relieved” to have his innocence recognized. A little earlier in the day, the Advocate General Eric Mazaud had however demanded a sentence of thirty years of imprisonment against the accused of 32 years, confused by his DNA almost ten years after the facts, while the investigation remained fixed on the former actor Gérald Thomassin.
But after almost five hours of deliberation, he was acquitted of the count of murder. The former paramedic, on the other hand, was sentenced to two years in prison – a sentence covered by his pre-trial detention – for the theft of a wad of banknotes which he admits having committed when he went to the scene of the crime. , before, according to him, fleeing after discovering the body of the victim.
When the verdict was announced, Mamadou Diallo breathed a sigh of relief, before kissing the hands of his lawyer Me Sylvie Noachovitch. She then saluted in front of journalists “a great victory for justice” and paid tribute to “brave” jurors. Addressing the civil parties, heads bowed, the President of the Assize Court soberly declared: “It’s the end of a legal episode, it’s the end of the first instance”. The civil parties are “standing knockout” at the end of this trial, declared their lawyer Me Séverine Debourg. “We can’t let this go unpunished, it’s difficult for them”she continued.
Mamadou Diallo was released from prison shortly before 1 a.m. on Tuesday, hugging his relatives and his lawyer, who multiplied the calls in front of the door of the Bourg-en-Bresse penitentiary center to allow his client to regain freedom. without waiting for the next day. The young man, moved, then expressed to the press his ” relief “ as well as his “pain for the family of the victim”.
” From lies to the absurd »
The body of Catherine Burgod, 41, was discovered on December 19, 2008 at 9:05 a.m. in the back room of the small post office in Montreal-la-Cluse, bathed in a pool of blood. Twenty-eight stab wounds were recorded on the body of this mother of two children, five months pregnant. The villainous track was quickly followed by the investigators, a sum estimated at 2,490 euros having been stolen. But the murder weapon remained untraceable and no convincing testimony, in particular for the crucial 29 minutes separating the last SMS from the victim and the discovery of his body, made it possible to advance the investigation.
This was first oriented on the track of Gérald Thomassin, ex-hope of French cinema who had become marginal, who then lived opposite this post and whose behavior after the murder had intrigued the investigators. He disappeared in 2019, before benefiting from a dismissal. During the six days of hearings, the defense tried to instill doubt again around the trail leading to the former “Little Criminal” by Jacques Doillon. “I am convinced that he is the culprit”launched Monday at the beginning of the pleading Me Noachovitch.
For the Advocate General, this strategy was a “scarecrow”. “I do not believe in the thesis of the spectator profiteer (…) and if you are not a spectator, it is because you are an actor on the scene”he declared in his indictment against the accused, whose “lies to the point of absurdity”.
In 2017, the case rebounded when a match was established between the DNA taken from a coin mechanism and a bag found near the body of Catherine Burgod, and that of Mamadou Diallo. At the time of the events, he was doing an internship near Montreal-la-Cluse. “I panicked, I didn’t think, on the way out I took a wad of cash, I ran out” corn “I am not a murderer”said the man who was at the time a 19-year-old high school student, invoking the “trauma” to explain the variations in his statements.