Dying for unpaid rent is the fate of Fadila Houfani, a tenant residing in Nancy 9 years ago. His owner was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his murder in 2018.
It’s one of those dark money stories that make those who end up taking action lose control and sense of reality. On the night of August 14 to 15, 2013, Christophe Voignier, a taxi driver from Nancy, had entered his tenant’s houseFadila Houfani aged 47, which had rent arrears. Not by ringing the doorbell to claim his due, but by a much more surprising means.
Christophe Voignier defenestrated Fadila Houfani from the 4th floor to make it look like a suicide
Determined, the owner had climbed the scaffolding erected against the facade of the building, located rue de la Colline, in Nancy. On this August night, the French window of the studio occupied by Fadila Houfani was open, which allowed Christophe Voignier to break into the accommodation, before strangling the victim and hitting him with a waffle iron.Finally, in order to disguise his crime as suicide, he had pushed the mother of the family into the void from the 4th floor. It was this modus operandi that had earned the accused a 25-year prison sentence for murder at first instanceat the Assises de Nancy, in 2017. The following year, thepremeditation had not been retained by the jury of the Assize Court of Moselleruling on appeal and the man was sentenced sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder.
“Can you die for unpaid rent?”had questioned Advocate General Jean-Yves Goueffon, representing the company, who reported, according to the daily newspaper l’Est Républicain that “Fadila Houfani explained to the police in 2012 that Voignier threatened her with death if she did not pay. A witness claims that the defendant told him that he wanted to run over his tenant with his taxi and make it look like an accident”, which had motivated him to retain premeditation and to require that the facts be qualified as assassination, which was ultimately not retained.“Your only moral, it’s money, continued the Advocate General. You have transgressed the most absolute taboo, that of life. And I’ve never seen the smallest sign of empathy” On the defense side, the lawyers tried to humanize their client “To make the accused a black being at all costs is not justice. It is necessary to make allowances.” That won’t be enough.