With its 1256 CCTV cameras, the city of Nice is the most filmed France. The day after the deadly race Lahouaiej Bouhlel Mohamed who made 84 dead and over 200 injured on the Promenade des Anglais, investigators are therefore interested in these precious evidence they have viewed, extracted and placed under seal. A few days later, Wednesday, July 20 at 11 am, the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate (SDAT) sent an urgent legal requisition in charge of urban supervision center of Nice (CSU). It is requested, with the agreement of the prosecution to proceed with the “complete obliteration” evening pictures of the attack and the next day.
Illico, the former mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi cried conspiracy in Le Parisien “the state wants to erase all traces, or we need the truth to victims. That is why I opposed this requisition. “ For the president of the PACA region, justice demands simply to town to destroy evidence of the carnage. One way to hide, he said, the shortcomings of the state. But we must remember that these images – some 30 000 hours of recording – have been seized by the court and paid to the investigation file. There is therefore no question “to erase all traces” but only the original images.
The requisition SDAT including Libération has been copied, addresses “full erase” more than twenty hours of footage that fall between July 14 to 22: 30 pm, time where the terrorist murderer starts his journey on the promenade des Anglais, and the next day at 18 am, at the end of the evacuation of all bodies. Justice also asks the Nice CSU responsible for destroying “all copies of recordings of the scene carried out judicial framework” . In other words, the only CCTV footage which must remain searchable are those currently in the hands of justice. The requisition is based, inter alia, Articles 53 and following of the Code of Criminal Procedure: “If a copy is made, may be undertaken on the instructions of the public prosecutor, the final deletion, on the physical medium that has not been placed under judicial control, computer data the possession or use is illegal or dangerous to the safety of persons or property “ provided in section 56.
to be clear, these are not the revelations of Libération in its edition of July 22 – highlighting, image support, flaws in the highest authorities on communication safety device – that inspired such a request. This has indeed been sent to the city on the eve of the publication of our investigation. Moreover, according to Nice-Matin that injunction was even already made orally by July 15th by police officers SDAT with personal supervision of the urban center of Nice. The prosecution therefore sweeps all polemical context of the resources deployed to secure the Promenade des Anglais and highlights a technical measure: “These are very violent images, very shocking, contrary to the dignity of the victims. We do not want that they find themselves in the media or on the Internet. “. It must be remembered that after the attacks of November 13, the owner of the pizzeria Casa Nostra referred by the shooting, was accused of having sold for 50 000 CCTV images of its business in English tabloid Daily Mail . After watching the police, the original video had been encrypted, a precaution which had proved futile. This legal requisition rather unprecedented, can therefore be read as a way to learn from the past.
Entering the CNIL
The lawyer for the city of Nice, M th Philippe Blanchetier, denounces him, procedure “not common” judging that “there is no valid justification for this requisition” “There is no risk of leakage since the only agents who have access to these images are relevant staff of the CSU and the police.” He also reminded that the law fixed to one month maximum legal storage period of CCTV images. In addition, they are automatically destroyed. “A Nice, for technical reasons, this period is often ten day” says the lawyer. Decided to keep the controversy to the end, the city announced Friday morning his refusal to proceed with the destruction of records. The municipality, whose Christian Estrosi remains strong man, also seized the prosecutor of Nice and the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) in order to keep them beyond their legal duration. M th Philippe Blanchetier argues in effect that it is necessary to keep the proof elements that may be useful in the context of separate proceedings to that of the attack: “The victims’ families have already announced their intention to file a complaint against the state and the city of Nice for failure in security. It is necessary to provide them with all the elements that can contribute to the manifestation of the truth. “ To date, at least four people, including a father who lost his 4 year old son, prepare to bring such proceedings.