JUSTICE – Estelle Mouzin’s father, at the heart of one of France’s best-known “cold cases”, had again claimed it earlier this year. And in an interview with 20Minutes, Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti announced this Wednesday, January 12: a judicial center dedicated to “serial and unsolved crimes” will be launched on March 1 in Nanterre to “allow these cases to remain legally alive”.
No less than 240 cases in progress could be entrusted to the three investigating judges, the first vice-president and two vice-presidents who will integrate this pole devoted to “cold cases”. These magistrates will be “100% seconded” to this entity based in Nanterre, within the jurisdiction of the Versailles Court of Appeal, and provided for by the “law strengthening confidence in the judicial institution”, promulgated in December, specifies the Minister.
Specialized investigators may be called upon
The new pole must allow these files “to remain legally alive and to offer an answer to the victims”, ambitions Eric Dupond-Moretti. “In the investigating offices, judges exercise for a limited time and are then replaced by colleagues. We thus see in the very long files, the complex files, three or four magistrates which follow one another ”, he explains.
However, “the passing of time is the worst enemy of the elucidation of a case, because sometimes the witnesses will live elsewhere, because the memory fades, for a thousand reasons”, adds the Keeper of the Seals.
“The investigating magistrates will have all the freedom to continue with the initial investigators or to seize a service specializing in unsolved crimes, such as the Diane division in Pontoise. A joint referral with the initial investigators and specialized services is also quite possible ”, he explains.
Grégory Villemin, Estelle Mouzin, Chevaline …
Concerning the conservation of seals, a key issue sometimes in the non-resolution of certain cases, the Minister indicates that “very particular attention will be paid both to the conservation of these parts but also to their use and their exploitation”.
In detail, France has 173 unsolved crimes for which justice is seized and 68 procedures for serial crimes, according to the Minister of Justice.
Among the most publicized, the Grégory Villemin affair, this boy found dead in Vologne (Vosges) in 1984, the quadruple murder of Chevaline (Haute-Savoie) in 2012 or even the disappearance of Estelle nineteen years ago. Mouzin, case in which eight magistrates succeeded.
Concerning this last case, the lawyers of the father of the girl, Masters Corinne Herrmann and Didier Seban were in particular the authors of a plea for the creation of such a pole in their work “We, lawyers of the forgotten – On the trail of unsolved crimes ”.
See also on the HuffPost: Why these magistrates and clerks denounce a “justice that does not listen”