Sign in / Join

Disappearance of Maëlys: the suspect finally re-heard by the judges

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – PHILIPPE DESMAZES – | Call for witnesses to find Maëlys, posted August 28, 2017 in Pont-de-Beauvoisin

Three months after the disappearance of the small Maëlys in Isère, the man suspected of having removed her should obtain Thursday the cancellation of her first statements in custody, but could be in the wake finally re-heard by the judges of ‘instruction.

These two judicial sequences will be linked in the morning.

The investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Grenoble must first go in camera its judgment on the motion for nullity pleaded by the defense ten days ago.

The suspense is relative, the prosecutor general having himself requested to cancel four hearings Nordahl Lelandais in his first custody August 31, four days after the wedding party in the village hall of Pont-de-Beauvoisin during which the child suddenly disappeared.

Due to a procedural error, the statements of the former 34-year-old soldier were not filmed at all, whereas the criminal code requires it for a criminal case.

Investigators claim to have been “prepared” for a long time at this probable cancellation and not to attach too much importance to these first statements, which, in their view, mainly reveal the “contradictions” of the one who has always denied being involved in the disappearance of the girl.

An extension of the annulment to the second custody – that which led to his indictment for kidnapping after the discovery of a DNA trace of the girl in his car – would be far more destabilizing.

But the investigating chamber should not go that far and the judges in charge of the case – two women and one man – should be able to re-examine Nordahl Lelandais, whom they have not seen since his imprisonment on 3 September.

The suspect will this time be accompanied by a tenor from the Bar, Mr. Alain Jakubowicz, who resumed his defense at the end of September and has since refrained from speaking in the media.

– ‘The investigation is progressing’ –

Ⓒ AFP – Jeff PACHOUD – | Joachim and Jennifer de Araujo, parents of Maëlys, during a press conference in Villeurbanne, September 28, 2017

At the end of October, the lawyer had obtained the postponement of the hearing of his client, for lack of having all the pieces of the file. He then filed a complaint for breach of the secrecy of the investigation, because of multiple leaks in the press, and filed a motion for a declaration of invalidity after discovering the blunder committed at the start of the investigation.

The offensive past magistrates should question at length Nordahl Leland because “the investigation has advanced even if it does not say where is the child,” said a source close to the record.

At the heart of the investigations is a recording of a CCTV camera at Pont-de-Beauvoisin, the night of the disappearance. Images considered initially inconclusive but whose extensive expertise helped to identify the mis en cause driving his car, with the passenger seat a “form banche” – the color of the dress that Maëlys wore this evening – which raises questions.

In the shadows, ten gendarmes of the Research Section of Grenoble are still assigned full time to this investigation. Research in the forest and water bodies in the region is continuing. If the call to witnesses has weakened intensity, all tracks are explored and nothing is left out, according to a source close to the record.

Maëlys’s parents also prefer to remain discreet. They spoke only once, in late September, to call the suspect to say everything he knew. A release of balloons took place on November 5th, for the 9 years of Maëlys.

Sunday, three months after his death, his mother posted on Facebook a moving slideshow of the child. In Pontarlier (Doubs), where she works as a night nurse, her colleagues at the hospital contribute in hours or days of work to facilitate her daily life.

Terms of service