“Dad, I think I walked on bodies”

The pleadings of the civil party lawyers continue, by theme. Among the most striking pleadings of this Monday, those of lawyers on love and children, the 69 orphans of November 13.

Frédérique Giffard is one of the civil party lawyers who pleaded this Monday, May 30
Frédérique Giffard is one of the civil party lawyers who pleaded this Monday, May 30 © Radio France / Valentin Pasquier

“Come, follow me, I’ve got you, close your eyes, above all don’t look, don’t worry, you’ll be fine”, begins Me Frédérique Giffard, in a moved voice, her cheeks flushed. The civil party lawyer pleads for lovers, “there were heaps of lovers on November 13”. There was that night “tons of i love you”. Of the “I love you, you are the woman of my life, you are the man of my life”. And she begins to shell the names of couples, fallen side by side under the bullets of the terrorists. Lamia and Romain, Priscilla and Manu, or Marie-Aimée and Thierry. Then Me Giffard talks about couples separated by death. “Sometimes the one who died protected the one who is alive”, she recalls.

Others survived together. That evening there were married couples, remarried couples, homosexual couples. And “secret loves, first dates, planned marriages, planned remarriages, children were expected”, says Frederique Giffard. It describes the aftermath, without the other you love, or with the other dented, visible or invisible wounds. She is angry with the accused who have not taken a step back with the death of terrorists as martyrs in the name of Daesh, “grotesque death”. She turns to the box, stares at the fourteen defendants present, and leaves her place to her colleague Helena Christidis.

The pleadings for the 69 orphans of November 13

“Two syllables that 69 children will never utter again”, begins Me Christidis in a very small voice. “47 will never say Dad again, 20 will never say Mom again, and two will never say Mom or Dad again.” The lawyer lists first names: Iris, Hector, Mathilde, Emilie, Micha, Tamia, Kevin, Sami, Elsa and the others. She also cites 9-year-old Gary and his little sister Thelma, who was in their mother’s womb the night of the attacks. Gary, in November 2015, had immediately “listed the things he would no longer do with his father”, this father Thelma never knew. Me Christidis speaks of another baby, not yet born on the evening of November 13: Gabriel.

The youngest are therefore six years old. All these children are 13-November orphans. The lawyer says the difficulty, even the impossibility of “remembering the smell of a father, the warmth of a mother, remembering a voice”. She describes in bulk the devastation of the attacks for the child direct victims, the orphans and those who saw a surviving parent return home but changed forever by the atrocities of that evening. “Being a child victim of terrorism is a month and a half without a hug from this father who is afraid of death. It’s making drawings of his parents with sad and frightened faces, full of amazement. It’s imagining put honey in the bad guy’s hair because it sticks. It’s Charlie and this daily question: are you going home tonight daddy?”

Me Christidis tells about these children that their friends do not understand. These children who have sometimes heard themselves say: “It’s been six months since your father died, can you stop sulking?” Children sometimes very young and already on anxiolytics. The lawyer also turns to the defendants, stern: “Misters the defendants, you contributed to these mass killings. 69 orphans and hundreds of children of survivors, marked for life, who unfortunately became adults far too early”. She also talks about little Eliott, who went to the Eagles of Death Metal concert with his two brothers and came home with only one of them.

And in her very human pleading, she is also sorry for “all these children in the camps of the Islamic State”, children who had been taken away by their parents who joined Daesh, and who are now held behind barbed wire in camps in Syrian Kurdistan. Children for whom several victims of this trial have clearly committed themselves, asking Emmanuel Macron to repatriate them. Arthur Dénouveaux, survivor of the Bataclan, president of Life For Paris and Philippe Duperron, president of 13Onze15 have publicly expressed themselves recently for a humane treatment of these children of jihadists, and their voices echo in the pleading of Me Christidis. She ends by citing the first names of several children of the accused. “Misters the defendants, your children did not ask to be born in this world in this world which you filled with terror”she concludes.

“This evening turned his childhood upside down”

Me Léa Capiaux pleads for Milan, who on the evening of November 13, 2015 at the Bataclan, said to her father: “Dad, I think I stepped on bodies.” Unbearable words, and even more so for a child. Milan was 10 years old the night of the attacks. “At 10, we only know first times, and it was Milan’s first concert. When the shooting started, he thought it was firecrackers. His father pinned him to the ground”. They both survived, curled up for an hour and a half at the end of a corridor, in front of the bathroom door that frightened spectators had refused to open for them. That evening, Milan “should have discovered music, he discovered terror, the fear of seeing his father die”, points out his lawyer. She concludes: “This evening turned his childhood upside down. Their lives are changed forever.”

Then it is Sami’s lawyer, who approaches the bar, to close the pleadings on childhood. Sami who was 13 years old when his mother, Marie-Aimée, was murdered by terrorists on the terrace of La Belle Equipe. Sami stayed “upright” for “build oneself and not become only a victim of the attacks”, explains Me Valérie Harif. Sami who had to build himself “an armor to keep hearing others pronounce the word Mom”. Sami who like so many others said: “I will never be the same again”. Sami who “cannot understand this death that has no meaning”, she says. She talks about “deep despair” of the young man, now 19 years old.

Facing the court, a few meters from the defendants’ box, the lawyer says that Sami is “for now become a server”. And she wonders if he didn’t choose this job to be every day “on the terrace with his mother”. On a bench in the courtroom, Sami is crying. Moment of infinite sadness on the 129th day of this trial of the November 13 attacks. Day also marked by this sentence repeated many times: “You will not have my hatred”. These words are those that Antoine Leiris had written to the address of the terrorists, a few hours after learning of the death of his wife Hélène Muyal-Leiris, the woman of his life, the mother of their son, Melvil. “You will not have my hatred”, powerful text that has become a book, and a phrase associated with November 13, like “I am Charlie” is associated with January 2015.

On November 13, 2015, Melvil was a 17 month old baby. That evening, laments the lawyer for the child and his father, Melvil lost “a mother so beautiful, so tender, whose kisses heal sorrows”. But despite the accused,“Hélène-Luna Muyal-Leiris left behind her a light: the moon, her 2nd first name, which illuminates”. The moon which is “a star, the last light before seeing the day” concludes the lawyer, quoting Antoine Leiris.

The trial will resume tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., with other arguments from civil party lawyers.

find here all our articles devoted to the day-by-day report of the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015 .

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