The release on Wednesday of Florian M., the police officer who shot young Nahel, plunged Fouad (first name has been changed) in deep dismay. This 17-year-old teenager was the front passenger aboard the bright yellow Mercedes AMG which ended its journey embedded in street furniture on June 27 in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine). He saw his friend die before his eyes.
For him, this development is a bad signal sent to the police. “I don’t understand how it’s possible for him to get away with it. Today, I am afraid for myself and I am afraid that other young people will be killed during checks,” he reacts in a very short text, sent this Saturday to Le Parisien. “Nahel was in my class, he was my friend. I think of him every day. »
Fouad was heard as a witness by the IGPN on July 3. He then became a civil party as part of the judicial investigation. The hearings of the civil parties, including that of Fouad, were completed between October and early November. It was shortly after that Florian M.’s lawyer, Me Laurent-Franck Liénard, filed a third request for his client’s release.
A decision that “rekindled the pain”
It is in this context that the magistrates responsible for investigating the case ordered the end of the police officer’s detention. This biker from the DOPC (public order and traffic service), who remains indicted for murder, was placed under judicial supervision, with a ban in particular on traveling to Nanterre and carrying a weapon. In their order, the investigating judges notably considered that if “differences” still existed between “the different versions”, the risk of consultation between the two police officers was today “less significant”, all the protagonists in the case having been heard.
Unlike previous times, the decision of the investigating judges has not been the subject of any appeal at this stage, neither by the defense nor by the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office. The investigating chamber of the Versailles Court of Appeal was therefore not contacted. The civil parties therefore did not have the opportunity to make the slightest observation. “We learned in the press that the police officer indicted for Nahel’s murder had been released. This decision has rekindled the pain of the civil party that I represent, and has also left her in a state of incomprehension,” observes Me Karen Noblinski, the lawyer for Fouad and his family.
VIDEO. “This police officer took two lives”: Nahel’s mother speaks in front of 900 people in Nanterre
“Instruction continues. My client will continue to work to ensure that the story of the events he witnessed is heard and recognized by the judicial institution. These are facts which have undeniably turned his life upside down, and which have not left him since June 27, 2023,” warns the Parisian criminal lawyer. Contacted, the lawyer for Nahel’s rear passenger, at the time of the events, did not wish to speak at this stage. The lawyer for Nahel’s mother, Me Yassine Bouzrou, also did not wish to make “comments on the pre-trial detention of the police officer, as (he has) always done in this case”.
The policeman’s lawyer, Me Laurent-Franck Liénard, for his part called on “the people who speak out about this detention and give their opinion” to “respect the law, the judicial authority and the man I am defending, and not to say anything. » “They also do not respect the authority of the court decision which ordered the release of this police officer. They are wrong,” added the criminal lawyer in a press release sent to Le Parisien.
Some 500 people gathered peacefully on Sunday November 19 in Nanterre, at the call of Nahel’s mother, to protest against the release of the police officer. “He only did four months (of pre-trial detention), it’s nothing! He took a life. He took two lives, including mine,” Mounia M. said on the microphone. Nahel’s friends, their faces masked, spoke out to criticize this decision. “Justice for Nahel”, “no justice, no peace”, chanted the crowd. The images of the death of the 17-year-old teenager, shot at point blank range during a road check, widely distributed on social networks, had raised a wave of anger and violence which engulfed the country for several consecutive nights, the more serious since 2005.