According to victims and members of victim support associations, more civil parties would have liked to speak, but we simply lack time. The closing date of this trial is firm, unsurpassable. Why ? Because, afterwards, the room is reserved. As for a discount wedding in a provincial hotel, the same. I could have laughed (OK, I laughed). They did the hit to the victims of November 13, too? We do not care. This time, it’s the people of Nice.
This week, the crack melted on the Courthouse like a small bitter wind, knocking down everyone in its path. Just the big, super-powerful cold that ravaged much of Europe. Protected from the Covid, no one had been sick since 2019. As a result, this one put us all flat. The difference, inside the courthouse, is that by missing half the week we all said to ourselves that our bodies were trying to save our minds, even our souls, from the devastating drone of the witnesses of the trial. from Nice.
Like the week before, the highlight for the media is a political visit. Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi spoke for six hours at the helm, attempting a more human approach than Hollande and Cazeneuve before him. Touching like a soap opera star. The Niçois did not seem to be hanging on too much. I’m disappointed in how little justice they’re willing to do to his hair (politicians today have better hair than movie stars). Thierry Vimal, bad boy and father of the girlfriend, 12 years old, murdered: “Me, the time when I cried the most, these five weeks of hearing civil parties, was when Mr. Estrosi explained that he had to put the pain of others above his own, and hold Well. » Nah, but what cynicism! Me, my favorite passage is when Estrosi explained that he had not been made aware of the looting of the bodies by despicable vultures. Still, he must have a damn fine team to spare his delicate ears and pretty curls such horrors.
What dominated Vimal’s week was the testimony of Alexandra A., whom I missed because of my fatigue. He told it to me, and chronicled it heartbreakingly on his scandalously little-read blog.
Chased by the crazy truck, Alexandra ran in a zigzag. “Saved after the charge, she sees, lying on the ground, a little Métis girl. Kayla. Alexandra knelt beside Kayla. ” Where does it hurt ? » The child did not speak. But around her stomach, she made signs in circles. Alexandra rolls up the little girl’s skirt and what she sees still remains in her eyes today. A protruding bone, “it pisses blood”. She stops the bleeding by returning her hands to Kayla. Nearby, people gathered, another body, a black woman. The mother. As a child, Alexandra talks about Dora the Explorer. For a boy, she explains, dinosaurs would have been more appropriate. Near the mother, a man invites her to read her lips. She is dead. Immediately, Alexandra told Kayla ” Everything is going well “. Stopping the bleeding. “I could feel his little organs. » The ambulance came to pick up Kayla. Alexandra put her alive in it. For a week, she was conquering. “I had saved a child. » She learns of his death on the 21st, in a supermarket. Blackout. »
Alright, all things considered, maybe he’s entitled to a few low blows against his wicked mayor, Vimal.
Friday is the day of victim support associations: the French Association of Victims of Terrorism (AFVT), Promenade des anges and Memorial des anges, among others. Sincere, dignified and undoubtedly well-intentioned testimonies, although inevitably a little less eloquent, with less immediate impact.
And then, that moment of internal dissension. At the head of an association, this formidable businesswoman whose name I will not mention lost her daughter in the attack. She speaks for a long time (less than the politicians, of course) and shows obvious strength of character. Talking about the resilience and endurance it takes for victims to get through hardships, she says that sometimes a victim also needs to kick their ass. To get out of bed, to actively face what happened to him. It’s a lot of herself she talks about like this, wrapping herself in a kind of Thatcherian rectitude. But his words (over which the press cast a modest veil) are clumsy to say the least. In the courtroom, the reactions are audible, annoyance, disbelief, dismay. A particularly affected woman is escorted outside by the police. We learn immediately that in Nice, in the public projection room, there are the same reactions. Somewhere, it is a sadly predictable end for the part of the trial devoted to the civil parties. I was rather pissed about Lady Thatcher, but here is a pure case of bathos, the fall from the sublime to the ridiculous of the Greeks. (In my humble opinion.)
Later, on the illustrious steps of the Palace, where so much happens, Me Mouhou introduces me to Virginie, the young woman who was evacuated. The long ordeal of the civil parties completed, I thought I would finish early, but they weren’t done with me.
Virginie, 41, is the mother of three children, she has a youthful face and extraordinary eyes, of a color that I am unable to describe. Since July 14, his journey (and that of his family) has been a purgatory. With her three children, at the famous candy stand (the tragic epicenter of so many atrocities that evening), they narrowly escaped death. One of his sons was trampled on in the panic movement, the other, 11 years old at the time, seriously injured by the truck, had to undergo five years of surgery and rehabilitation.
However, it is not because of his own children that the kick in the ass hurt him so much. It’s because of the one she briefly met, as she frantically searched for her own. “He was a little boy, blond head, 5 or 6 years old, no more. Lying there. He was breathing hard. He was choking, he was shaking, he was moaning. I couldn’t leave him. I took him in my arms and sang him a song that I used to sing to my children when they were little. Suddenly, everything stopped. I put him down gently, as gently as possible. I put my vest on him. I wasn’t the only one trying to help. I am very far from being a heroine. There were people of good will, of good faith. There were thefts, but it must also be said that that evening was a great story of humanity. There were also brave people. » •
Translated from English by Myriam Anderson