CRS in Marseille (illustration). - P.MAGNIEN / 20 MINUTES

Two police officers were sentenced Wednesday in immediate appearance in Marseille to four years and 18 months in prison for the illegal arrest of a young Afghan refugee, abandoned 30 km further in a vacant lot where he claims to have been hit. They were imprisoned after the conviction for kidnapping and forcible confinement, forgery and willful violence. The third member of this motorway CRS crew, a young woman, security assistant, was given a one-year suspended prison sentence by the Marseille Criminal Court.

"The court is perfectly assured of the loyalty, the competence, the dedication of the police, we trust it (...) but the quid pro quo is that it cannot suffer derogations and offenses "Declared the president Céline Ballérini.

Control during confinement

CCTV cameras had filmed the muscular arrest of Jamshed, a 27-year-old Afghan, holder of a residence permit, on April 12 on the Old Port of Marseille. , suspected him of spitting on two passers-by who refused him a cigarette. It had been thrown against the police vehicle after an arm key, then placed inside.

According to the security assistant who carried out the handcuffing, the skipper, Brigadier Michel Provenzano, 46, "got angry from there". Officials mention fingers of honor and invective. "The first big mistake is that we should have dropped it and let it go again but we decided that it shouldn't stay there," said driver Mathieu Coelho.

"Huge dumpling"

Before the criminal court where they appeared after their police custody in the premises of the General Inspectorate of the National Police, the police acknowledged the facts, stressing that because of the health crisis, they would have " makes you laugh "if they had transported the young man to a criminal investigation officer for contempt.

"I farted a cable, we made a huge dumpling," admitted Michel Provenzano: "We had this guy on his arms, we didn't know what to do with it." The young man was then transported to a remote site in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, about thirty kilometers from Marseille. On the spot, Michel Provenzano deposits in the empty pocket his sunglasses and his service weapon "not to make bullshit", he declared to the court. Behind a hillock, the young Afghan would then have received "a punch or a slap", according to the security assistant, but this violence is disputed by his two colleagues.

Once Jamshed abandoned, Michel Provenzano will let go: "It feels good, it relieves", according to the security assistant. The two men then take the decision to draw up a false report indicating that they left the young refugee at the police station.

"33 minutes of madness"

The sentence of four years in prison, against Michel Provenzano, is higher than the three years required by the prosecutor Virginie Tavanti according to which these police officers "were not worthy of their uniform".

The 18-month suspended prison sentence imposed on his colleague Mathieu Coelho is in line with the requisitions. The three police officers apologized to the victim at the hearing. Me Nicolas Berthier, defender of Michel Provenzano, had mentioned a “professional quasi-suicide”, calling on the court to “not reduce this police officer to 33 minutes of madness, out of frame, after 20 years spent in the CRS without any incident”.


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  • Police violence
  • CRS
  • Police
  • Marseille