Gauthier Delomez, with AFP (interview by Jean-Baptiste Marty) / Photo credits: Philippe Roy / Aurimages via AFP 19:27 pm, September 15, 2023

The trial of the attackers of Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver who died in 2020 in Bayonne, opened on Friday. If the accused expressed their regrets, the lawyer of Véronique Monguillot, the widow of the driver, evoked at the microphone of Europe 1 a first day emotionally difficult.

A first day of intense trial for Véronique Monguillot. The widow of Philippe Monguillot, the bus driver who died in Bayonne in July 2020 as a result of his attack, has seen the two accused, who are on trial for "intentional violence resulting in death without intent to give".

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On Europe 1, his lawyer Alexandre Novion returns to this trying Friday. "There was a big crack at the beginning of the hearing, quite spectacular, where we felt that it collapsed," he explains.

The first confrontation with the aggressors

Even if, theoretically, this first day "is not the hardest day", continues the lawyer, it marks "the beginning of the trial. What was very striking was that it was the first time she had seen them, it was the first confrontation. She discovered the faces of those who killed her husband, and obviously, there was something very strong, "reports Alexandre Novion.

"In the afternoon, we could note the great dignity she was able to have with her daughters around her," said Alexandre Novion to Europe 1.

The regrets of the accused

At the opening of the trial, the defendants expressed their regret. The main accused, Wyssem Manai, wearing black-framed glasses and a white shirt, said: "I'm not a monster, I didn't want to do that to Philippe Monguillot, this story haunts me." Head down, he has repeatedly assured to be "a normal person". "A trial is a moment of truth, it is not the time to blow on the embers. I do legal defense, not hype," said his lawyer, Thierry Sagardoytho, before entering the room.

His co-accused, Maxime Guyennon, also 25 years old, white polo shirt and mid-length hair, had been on parole for less than three months at the time of the facts. He said he wanted to "pay his debt to the victim's family, even if it is impossible" and "wash away the shame done" to his own family. A third man, aged 43, is also on trial for assisting the two accused, in this case by housing them in his apartment, thus allowing them to evade search and arrest. From 7:30 am, before the opening of the debates, a dozen people massed on the steps of the courthouse of Pau, "in support of Véronique Monguillot and her daughters", to "ask for exemplary sentences".