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Gardener accused of murder in France: justice reopens the case 27 years later


The investigative committee of the Court of Revision ordered additional information before ruling on the admissibility of the request filed by Mr. Raddad, at the center of one of the most enigmatic and controversial criminal cases in France.

Able to decide on a new trial, an extremely rare event in France, the Court of Revision may then be seized.

It is a step towards revision. […] We are moving towards judicial truth.

A quote from Sylvie Noachovitch, lawyer for Omar Raddad

Designated by the inscription Omar killed me, traced with the blood of the victim at the crime scene, the former Moroccan gardener had suffered a first rejection of a request for review in 2002.

His new request is based on advances in DNA science and on a law passed in June 2014 that relaxes the criteria for reviewing a trial.

Those are evidence casting doubt on Omar Raddad’s guilt, says Me Noachovitch.

Genetic fingerprints

She presented to justice the conclusions of a genetics expert who again analyzed a discovery of 2015: samples from seals had revealed traces of DNA exploitable that do not match the genetic profile of the ex-gardener.

In total, four genetic fingerprints corresponding to four men had been found on site, on two doors and a chevron.

It was on these two doors that the inscriptions had been written Omar killed me, emblematic of this case, and Omar has t.

Ghislaine Marchal, rich widow of an automotive supplier, was found in the cellar of her property in Mougins [sud-est de la France] on June 23, 1991. She was 65 years old.

In notes from 2019 and 2020, the genetics expert noted the presence of 35 traces of an unknown male DNA on the inscription Omar has t and concluded in favor of the hypothesis of the deposit of these fingerprints at the time of the facts and not of a pollution later, especially by investigators.

The investigating committee of the Court of Revision has requested additional investigations on this point.

The defense of Omar Raddad considers plausible that these genetic traces were deposited by the author of the inscription to designate a scapegoat.

First request rejected

The first request, filed by the previous defender of Omar Raddad, was already based on genetic expertise which had uncovered a male DNA in very low proportion, different from that of the gardener.

But the Court of Revision had rejected it, considering that it was impossible to determine when, prior to, concomitantly or after the murder, these traces [avaient] been left.

Sentenced in 1994 to 18 years imprisonment, without the possibility of appeal at the time, Omar Raddad had benefited from a partial pardon from President Jacques Chirac, then from parole in 1998. This pardon is not worth an annulment of condemnation and do not make him innocent.

In a press release sent to theFrance Media Agency, Ghislaine Marchal’s family says [prendre] act of the decision ordering additional investigations.

The victim’s family hopes that these investigations will make it possible to put a definitive end to a case painfully experienced by her and hopes that this new judicial component will take place in a peaceful media climate, according to the press release.

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