After five months of investigations on the security device in force in Nice in the evening with the attack of 14 July, the prosecutor of the Republic, Jean-Michel, Priest, announced that it ranked without following the preliminary investigation open for endangering the lives of others. The prosecutor had cosaisi the general Inspectorate of the national police (IGPN) and the central Directorate of the judicial police (DCPJ). What was the risk taken into account by the State and the city of Nice ? What was the nature of the security device ? The arrangements put in place in the evening of the attack corresponded to what the organizers had anticipated ? For Jean-Michel Priest, the preliminary investigati on has demonstrated that “no fact of nature to incur any criminal liability against anyone”.
On 14 July, approximately 30 000 people had come to witness the fireworks shot in the bay of Angels in Nice. At the wheel of a truck of 19 tons, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel begins his massacre at 22h33 by slashing its first victims on the sidewalk. And then the terrorist is introduced without difficulty in the pedestrian area of the festivities, at the level of the rue Gambetta. Some 400 metres further on are positioned the first officers of the national police, alerted by a radio message.
Two police officers come forward then close the cab of the terrorist, who is practically at a standstill, put in plays for a few seconds, without pressing the trigger. The terrorist, himself, did not hesitate and fired several times before returning to his carnage. Finally slowed down by the axles stuck, the truck came to a stop 150 meters away. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel is then shot in the cab by a flurry of fire from the police. His shooting has been 86 deaths and hundreds of injured. From the first to the last second, his killing is filmed by the cctv cameras of the city of Nice.
Number of police staff compliant
Between mid-July and the end of November, twenty-three complaints have been addressed to the prosecutor of the Republic of Nice. All of them are relating to the harm of a failure to secure the promenade of the English on the 14th of July. In his motives of this classification without continuation, the public prosecutor considers that there is no offence on the part of the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes and the city of Nice. The security of this event, by its magnitude, was dependent of the services of the State. the “For that the facts should be qualified as manslaughter or endangering the life of another, he must not only have been reckless, or committed a mistake,, explains Jean-Michel Priest. You must have been aware of a substantial risk, that the coverage of this risk has been anticipated by the regulatory texts and that the responsible person has knowingly decided not to take any particular measure.”
According to him, this is not what has been found in this case. The prefect has been informed of the risk of attack but the situation was not specific to Nice. And the hypothesis of a truck-ram barreling into the crowd, which had been taken into account, fifteen days earlier, for the Euro 2016, not this time not been accepted. According to the prosecutor, the conditions for the reception of the public were different in the July 14, adding that the number of police personnel was in line with the device. In September 2014, a high part of the islamic State, Abu Mohammed Al-Adnani, had advocated this mode of operation.
The days following the tragedy, the highest authorities of the State had presented a version at least inaccurate of the security device. In a press release the day after the attack, the prefecture ensured that “the mission perimeter was entrusted to the most sensitive points in crews of the national police, reinforced by the crews of the municipal police. This was notably the case for the point of entry of the truck, with a prohibition of access materialized by the positioning of vehicles blocking access to the roadway. The truck forced the passage on the sidewalk”.
On 16 July, Bernard Cazeneuve, on the front steps of the Elysée palace, has the same device : “police vehicles made it impossible to cross the promenade des Anglais.” In its edition of July 21, Liberation revealed that the version advanced by the authorities was false. At the time of the passage of the truck, access to the pedestrian part of the promenade des Anglais was simply controlled by the municipal police, and with a single vehicle, insufficient to block the entire roadway. This device corresponded, moreover, to what had been expected at the different preparatory meetings organized by the prefecture.
the Constitutions of civil party
Another element of the controversy in the hours that followed the attack, the effectiveness of video surveillance in place to blow of millions of euros by the city of Nice, where more than 1,200 cameras across the streets. How to explain the multiple back-and-forth tracking of the truck had not been spotted by the agents in charge of the monitoring center city, even as the circulation of this type of vehicles is governed by a municipal ordinance ? the “The fact that a 19 tonnes circulating in the city is not something against the law”, meets this Thursday, the prosecutor. Has Nice, as elsewhere, a mayor may not totally prohibit the movement of a particular vehicle type. the “One would imagine badly how a city the size of Nice could manage to live without having the ability to deliver or ship from within the urban area of the goods or to perform moves,”, writes Jean-Michel Priest.
The court file, however, is not closed, the twenty-three plaintiffs still have the possibility of constituting civil part, and thus, trigger the opening of a judicial investigation. the “We knew that the prosecutor could only classify without continuation, given its lack of statutory independence vis-à-vis the State, it is for this reason that we have filed a complaint with constitution of civil part of December, without waiting for his decision”, reacted Yassine Bouzrou, attorney for several plaintiffs.