Cliquer sur la cocarde

Tout sur le procès de Bordeaux

Procédure et historique de l'affaire Papon

Les contributions et déclarations autour de l'affaire Papon

Les traductions en anglais, espagnol et néerlandais


Le cédérom et le livre sur l'affaire Papon

Les documents

Les acteurs de l'affaire Papon

1961 - les évenemlents d'Algérie, les archives

Les liens sur l'affaire Papon





Accueil ] Suivante ]

Procès papon

Dernière mise à jour : le 01/11/2002

Hearing of October 9th

Translation by David King
Sketches by Edith Gorren

"We, the plaintiffs, represent 1560 persons, old and young, whose only burial palace is here in this criminal court."


The thing that strikes me most today is the feeling of confidence I have towards the criminal court and its presiding judge who guides the proceedings with calm and dignity; the Public Prosecutor and the Assistant Public Prosecutor both appear steadfast for our cause. The trial is well under way -- on the one hand the serene purposefulness of the court contrasting with the bustle of the public section and the media, on the other, the arrogance of the defence, the awkward presence of the accused with his very uneven lawyer, by turns nasty and overbearing, in stark contrast with our lawyers who appear to be old hands in a criminal court being held for crimes against humanity, up to all the tricks and frequently unmasking the blunders made by the defence. The quotation at the head of this report is from an intervention by Counsellor Levy.

 The hearing resumes at 1.30 p.m. with presiding judge Castagnède reading out the four-point conclusion of a statement by two medical experts, Broustet and Chapenoire:

 1°/ Papon is suffering from lung oedema and angina pectoris.

2°/ Medical conditions at Gradignan are inadequate.

3°/ The discomfort of his cell is detrimental.

4°/ They recommend he be imprisoned in a cardiological facility

Papon in his glass cage has still yet to look at the plaintiffs.

 Public Prosecutor Desclaux:

eg_desclaux.gif (19795 octets)

"after hearing from the experts, it appears that the sanitary conditions of Gradignan prison are incompatible with Papon’s state of health. I demand that the request for his release be denied, but I ask the prison authorities to do their best to see that imprisonment takes place in a cardiological facility."

 Counsel for the plaintiffs have no comment to make.

 The defence thanks the court and comes back to its request for release. The accused’s state of health is not consistent with his defence. Defence counsel requests Papon not be imprisoned in a cardiological facility. He says this is no ordinary trial, attacks Counsellor Klarsfeld and the plaintiffs in permanent conference all over the public areas of the court, reproaches us with forgetting the notion of human rights when it comes to Papon. To keep him in prison will call down a verdict of guilty. Papon’s wish, our wish, the plaintiffs’ wish is to put an end to the mourning for this period. Then, surprisingly, he announces that Papon is willing to acknowledge the infamy of the acts he committed

 Counsellor Varaut is doing better than he did yesterday, much more feeling.

Since Papon remains silent, the presiding judge leaves his decision under private consideration until Friday.

 October 10

 Counsellor Varaut brings forward a new point of law by demanding that a judgement pure and simple be delivered by the criminal trial in the light of European laws. He quotes Churchill:

 "Crimes against humanity must be prosecuted to the ends of the earth, to the end of time."

 His arguments are:

 "The file is empty - Papon has always asked to be tried before a criminal court - Papon has things to say and has every intention of saying them - The members of the jury weren’t born when the events took place - Papon saved Frenchmen from the STO (compulsory labour service in Germany) (protests from the audience) - There will be a huge conference of historians - He quotes the jury d’honneur [panel set up to decide who collaborated with the Nazis or resisted them] which absolved Papon - Sabatier acknowledged that he himself was responsible - Threatens the magistrates by declaring them non-competent when it comes to impartiality - At a time when both the Church and the police are repentant, he asks the court to show repentance towards the only victim, Papon - Papon hasn’t committed any of the acts he is being accused of - Only a European court can try Vichy - Pétain, Laval, Bousquet and Leguay are absent - He complains of the books published on the eve of Slitinsky and Counsellor Boulanger’s hearing - To commit a crime against humanity, the perpetrator has to support Nazi ideology - Chief Rabbi Cohen would have come and witnessed for him - Papon is at most a very minor accomplice - Nothing would be more extraordinary than to end the trial now."

 After a short suspension of the hearing, Assistant Public Prosecutor Robert goes over the arguments of the defence one by one.

 "Yesterday, the accused sought his release, today he is trying to dodge the trial.

But behind all these arguments what are his true aims?

 The defence is seeking the annulment of the indictment.

 It is seeking the annulment of the preliminary proceedings.

 It is seeking the annulment of the criminal court proceedings before they have begun.

 It affirms that the court cannot judge because the laws come under the statute of limitations

 I believe that the claims of non-competence are an insult to this court.

 It appears as if the defence wanted nothing to do with this trial.

 The defence is mocking the law, no-one could legitimately criticize the competence of the Criminal Court.

 The notion of crime against humanity does not sit well with the defence. Who in the court or among the jury can be unaware of the fact that if Papon is justified he can ask for damages?

 But what is this procedural manoeuver hiding? The defence has another goal in view:

 NAZI BARBARITY IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA OF THE DEPORTATION AND GENOCIDE OF JEWS. No. The acts imputed to the accused are serious; after making out Papon yesterday as no ordinary accused, the defence today is trying to make him out as an expiatory victim. I will not have it that Papon can pose as a victim, the victims are here, they are the plaintiffs.

 Let there be no mistake about this trial, let there be no mistake about the victims.

 Whose fault is it if the trial has been so long in coming?

 Who has employed so many subterfuges, who has initiated so many legal proceedings, if not the accused himself? There was never, after the war, any trial of the Prefectoral administration (and, I might also add: who was it accused the plaintiffs of slanderous denunciations?) Papon did not go into hiding like Barbie in Argentina. HE KNOWINGLY AFTER THE LIBERATION HID HIS COLLABORATION IN THE DEPORTATION OF JEWS. We shall prove it.

 We are beholden to French and international legislators if, after 44 years, charges can still be laid.


 The plaintiffs are crying out for justice."

 A.P.P. Robert

eg_robert.jpg (12441 octets)

then goes on to give the three reasons for the delay in proceedings:

 "The decision of the Appeals Court and the problem of jurisdiction.

  1. The difficulties encountered by the investigating magistrates in focusing the accusation against Papon.
  2. Bousquet’s involvement, it was not known who Bousquet could be judged by.
  3. The complexity of the case made it extremely difficult for it to be dealt with legally.

There is no possible comparison to be made between the complexity of the Papon case and the complexity attendant on the trials of Touvier and Barbie. The Papon affair is much more complex, having required for a period of eight years the bringing together of 6 354 documents, hearing 95 witnesses, arranging 85 plaintiff hearings and 15 drawn-out hearings of Papon.

He refers to the long list of legal actions brought by Papon, most of them to no avail (except 2) and says that Papon too, in his day, knew how to use and manipulate the media. He rejects the conclusions of the defence.

Counsellor Favreau then intervenes:

eg_favre_berg.jpg (19586 octets)

"What the plaintiffs want is not the trial of a state or a city, what they want is the trial of one man. It is unbearable to hear that the plaintiffs are guilty of wanting the trial to be unfair, and I have every confidence in the Criminal Court and the jury. No accused has ever been given more consideration or more privileges than Papon has. To dare claim that Chief Rabbi Cohen could have witnessed for the defence is to make mockery of the memory of our dead. WE WANT THIS TRIAL TO BE FAIR AND THE DEFENCE TO BE EQUALLY ARMED, THE BETTER FOR US TO OVERCOME IT."

Applause from the public

The presiding judge calms the public down

Counsellor Levy, for the FNDIRP, now speaks: "We have heard the defence say one thing and then do the opposite. WE, THE PLAINTIFFS, REPRESENT 1560 PERSONS, OLD AND YOUNG, WHOSE ONLY BURIAL PALACE IS HERE IN THIS CRIMINAL COURT.

He then speaks of Papon’s cowardice in putting all the responsibility onto Sabatier:


18th admission by the defence: he acknowledges he committed crimes against humanity

19th admission by the defence: Papon said he obeyed the law. But the law of Vichy mentions only the exclusion of Jews. In arresting them, illegally confining them and deporting them from Merignac to Drancy, then from Drancy to Auschwitz, what laws was Papon obeying. Was this not showing allegiance to Nazi law?"

Counsellor Wetzer: "I am amazed that Counsellor Varaut implied that Papon reportedly expressed his remorse in the course of a television broadcast. I urge Papon to express his remorse in a little while when it comes his turn to speak. Like the lawyers for the plaintiffs, there are too many of you for his taste, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury."

Lastly, Counsellor Blet, for the ANACR, gets worked up and works up the public: "Counsellor Varaut never stops misleading people by stating that Papon is an accomplice in crimes against humanity, THAT IS FALSE, THERE IS NO COMPLICITY - WHAT HE IS CHARGED WITH IS DEPORTATION AND THAT HE CANNOT DENY. HE SIGNED WITH HIS OWN SIGNATURE.

Counsellor Varaut speaks again, then Papon responds to Counsellor Wetzer. Everybody holds their breath, and I have to say that I thought for one moment that Papon was about to excuse himself or express remorse, if only because three times and for the first time since the beginning of the trial he has dared to look at us. But his arrogance wins out and he suggests Counsellor Wetzer should go and rummage in the waste-paper baskets of Antenne 2 [television station] where his remorse must be.

It was after this arrogant outbreak of anger that Papon had his heart attack.

The presiding judge defers his decision to October 15.

Next, the list of witnesses is read out. Many have withdrawn; most frequently for medical reasons backed up by doctor’s certificate. Among the most famous are Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Roger Samuel Bloch, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, René Monory, General de Boissieu. Of those who will be attending are Henri Amouroux 17/10, Raymond Barre 17/10, Marc Olivier Baruch 28/10, Jacques Delarue 01/12, Gabriel Delaunay 5/12, Olivier Guichard 17/10, Jean Lacouture 23/10 and Messmer 16/10. The names of the other half of witnesses will be called out tomorrow.

Robert Abdesselam cannot come on 15/10, so will come on l5/12

 Hélène Allaire 26/11

 Henri Amouroux 17/11

 Louis André withdraws, is passed over

 Aymé Aubert 4/12

 Michèle Aumont 15/10

 Jean-Pierre Azema 23/10

 Robert Baconnier 15/10

 Eliane Badour cannot come, is passed over

 André Balbin 27/11

 Anne Bargues is passed over

 Raymond Barre 17/10 

Marc Olivier Baruch 28/10

 Hubert de Beaufort 4/12

 Bernard Bergerot 29/10

 Michel Berges 1/12

 Pierre Bilger is passed over  

Roger Samuel Bloch cannot come (a projection of his interview A2 is requested)

 Général Alain De Boissieu is passed over or comes later

 Claude Bouchinet-Serreulles 21/10

 Serge Bouder 10/11

 Léon Boutbien 15/12

 François Bouton 29/10

 Jean Bozzy 15/10

 André Briaud 29/10

 Yvette Brunetière 5/12

 Philippe Burin 24/10

 Félix Caillat 14/10 

Jean Caille 15/10

 Christian Campet 3/12

 Adrien Castanet 24/10

 Yves Cazaux is passed over

 Jacques Chaban Delmas is passed over

 Roger Chaix 21/10

 Ginette Chapel 15/10

 Henri Chassaing 3/12  

Maurice Claux 5/12

 Asher Cohen deceased

 Michel Cohen 20/11

 Armand Coplet 7/12

 Jacques Delarue 1/12

 Gabriel Delaunay 5/12 

Denise Descats

 Michel Didier 20/10

 Maurice Doublet 21/10

 Maurice Druon 22/10

 Pierre Durand 27/11

 Lucien Duval is passed over

 Jean-Luc Enaudi 16/10

 Roland Faugère is passed over

 Fabienne Feuillerat  

Roger Foustet is passed over

Georges Galichon is passed over

 Georges Gaumont is passed over

 Jacques Genton 20/10

 Georges Gheldman 5/11

 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing later

 André Gonzalez 14/11

 André Gouron 1/12

 Olivier Guichard 17/10

 Louis Handschu is passed over

 Lucette Hardi is passed over

 M. Holtfort 27/11

 Huguette Jacob is passed over

 Jean Jaudel 22/10

 Marie-Christine Jeaniot 3/12

Yves Jouffa, Mme De Gaulle, André Frossard, a recording of their testimony at the Barbie trial will be played

Robert Lacoste 24/11

 Jean Lacouture 23/10

 Simone Lagrange 27/11

 Révérend Père Lechot is passed over

 Roger Levy 15/10

 Roger Lhombreaud 4/12

 Jean Lisbonne 14/12

 M Moquet 14/11

 Jean Matteoli 22/10

 P Maushe 17/10

 Yvette Moch 24/11

 René Monory is passed over

 Jean Morin 5/12

 Berthe Muratte 24/11

 Paul Paillole

 In the next instalment we shall describe the reactions of the plaintiffs, Elianne et Michel Dommange et Jackie Aliswaks.


Retour Accueil

© Affaire Papon - JM Matisson

Page mise à jour le 01/11/02 06:29

Nous contacter, s'inscrire sur la liste de diffusion

Retour Accueil