The eighteen police officers of the BAC Nord in Marseille are charged with theft of drugs, cigarettes and money. The public prosecutor’s office requested on Monday, April 19, a prison sentence of up to 6 months. The verdict is expected on Thursday.
Prosecutors on Monday requested up to six months’ imprisonment against the 18 former police officers of the Crime Combat Brigade of the northern districts of Marseille, who were prosecuted in 2012 for theft of drugs, cigarettes and money. The heaviest sanctions required were imposed on six of the defendants, including two of the group leaders of the BAC Nord de jour.
In its indictment, the prosecutor, who did not petition for release and requested a minimum one year sentence suspended against five defendants, deplored the headlines for the “impressive” and “non-glorifying” image of the police dismissed from the case. “The only thing that will remain in the long term is that the doubt stays in everyone’s head, it is the worst,” said the deputy prosecutor of Marseille, André Ribes.
Also read: 18 former BAC police officers in Marseille were accused of robbing drug dealers and tried to do so on Monday
Nine years ago, when the affair broke out, the then prosecutor of Marseille, Jacques Dallest, spoke of “burns” and accused the BAC Nord police of “paying on the beast” and of “taking their pennies” from dealers and resellers Smuggled cigarettes that they controlled in the working-class neighborhoods of the city.
During this trial, which began a week ago, officers were questioned extensively about these six months of police taped discussions, including the “noise” of their vehicles and wiretapping of their offices. Discussions in which they boasted of exploiting arrests to recover money or drugs.
“What we discover in these sound systems is amazing. Everyone who hears it is silent. They say they are joking, but they run for ten years, that doesn’t make me laugh,” emphasized André Ribes.
However, when the judge found that all the defendants benefited from “congratulatory letters” from their hierarchy, he criticized the tone used by the police when, for example, one of them approached a passerby and accused him, with no evidence of stealing a gold chain, and he urged him to stop by if you don’t come here very formally: “If it were me (…), I’ll turn around on the street and look at it. There is no dog behind me.”
Three policemen have already been released
Before these criminal proceedings, three of the 18 defendants had already been released after the IGPN investigation. The fifteen others who have been temporarily expelled or reprimanded are still police officers. Since then, one of them has even found a job at BAC Nord.
“There is no place for those who dirty the uniform of the police,” the then socialist interior minister Manuel Valls criticized at the time. The verdict is expected on Thursday.