Jean-Baptiste Marty // Photo credit: LOIC VENANCE / AFP 06:03, September 15, 2023

This Friday morning opens the trial of three 25-year-old defendants tried before the Assize Court of Pau. Two of the defendants had beaten Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver in Bayonne on July 5, 2020. Plunged into a coma, he died of his injuries five days later. The two main defendants, aged 25, already convicted in the past for other offences, are on trial for "intentional violence resulting in death without intent". A qualification that the widow of the driver does not admit, for her it is a murder.

Three years after the death of Philippe Monguillot, a bus driver in Bayonne, beaten by passengers refusing to wear a sanitary mask, his two alleged attackers and an accomplice appear from Friday before the Assize Court of Pau in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. But even if they are at the assizes, the two accused will not appear for aggravated murder because the intention to kill has not been proven. However, they are at the assizes because of their judicial past.

"I can't understand"

A charge that does not admit the widow of bus driver Véronique Monguillot. Reached by phone, the latter assures that the two attackers deliberately wanted to kill her husband. "There are still words that have been used: 'We're going to take you apart, we're going to finish you'. There are testimonies. And that's what happened, the individual came back to finish him with the final blow that only aggravated what he had already done to him on the ground. So for me the intention is there that's what I can't understand," she said in a tight voice.

>> LISTEN - Death of Philippe Monguillot: the trial opens Friday

For their part, the accused defend themselves. For them, the beating of the victim was not intended to kill him. Because Philippe Monguillot actually fell backwards after a final punch. A fall during which his head hit the ground causing a loss of consciousness. A version that cannot be received by the widow of the bus driver. "Without justice, there will be no mourning." And for her, justice requires the recognition of this qualification as "murder". The accused have been imprisoned since the facts. They face a sentence of 20 years' imprisonment.