The hearing had lasted only two days. In march 2014, two witnesses of last minute incriminating Henri Leclaire had swung the trial. An additional hardship for the families of the victims have already been tested in a judicial proceeding outside the norm. The announcement of the referral, the mother of Cyril Beining, 70 years old, had hurriedly left the room. Alexander Beckrich had burst into tears.
Only the father of Cyril, Jean-Claude Beining, had found the strength to confide his disappointment. “It’s going to have to wait”, had delivered one that was already there, at the criminal court of Metz, on 27th January 1989, when Patrick Dils was sentenced, in the same folder, to the criminal reclusion to perpetuity – he will be exonerated in 2002 after fifteen years behind bars.
Double murder of Montigny-les-Metz : the ten key dates of the case
Nearly three years later, this Tuesday, 10 January, the Court of Cassation dismissed the appeal in cassation of Chantal Beining, and validated the non-place which has benefited from Henri Leclaire in this case. This time definitely out of the question, it will not be judged by the assizes for the double murder of the children. Francis Heaulme will appear alone.
Contacted by “Obs”, the lawyer Henri Leclaire, Thomas Hellenbrand, says his “great relief.” As soon as he was able, he called his client “showed the finger to the point of having to live a secluded life in a small village”. The lawyer said to think of a way to get compensation, and adds :
“This is the end of an ordeal for him and the victims who will finally be able to have a trial.”
The case lasts for not less than thirty years. On September 28, 1986 in Montigny-les-Metz, in the Moselle, the body of Cyril and Alexandre, 8 years old, are found near them, on an embankment along a siding of the RAILWAY. The murders are of exceptional violence : their skulls were smashed with blows of stone.
A little more than two months after, the first to confess to the facts is Henri Leclaire, who was working for the editions Le Lorrain, in which the rear of the premises faces onto a street near the place of murder. But it retracts quickly, and the investigators, who report inaccuracies in his statements, and believe that his corpulence prevents him from up on the slope, deviate from its track.
The trial of Heaulme opens finally, but not for long
a Few months later, a teenager of 16 years old, neighbor of the small victims, Patrick Dils, admit him also to the murder before retracting. First a minor sentenced to life imprisonment, it is, in 2001, one of the few prisoners held in France, to benefit from a revision procedure, which resulted in his acquittal. The presence of the serial killer Francis Heaulme in the vicinity of the crime on the day of the murder is a key element of this payment.
In December 2007, the “backpacker of the crime” is a non-place for lack of sufficient charges. Chantal Beining, the mother of Cyril, made the only appeal of this decision. On march 21, 2013, Francis Heaulme is finally returned to the foundation by the of the investigation chamber of the court of appeal of Metz. His trial opened in march 2014 in the foundation of Metz. But, as it is known, does not last.
“It’s not me, I have not killed”
Two witnesses of last minute criminalize the former handler called as a witness. A woman said to have received his revelations, in 2012. It him would have spoken about the killings of the children, he would have said that he had been “ran after”, the had “caught”. Of the many words which, allied to the gestures of Henri Leclaire and his state of “trance”, would be “left thinking” this woman “that he was physically taken to the children”. “It’s not me, I have not killed”, hammered Henri Leclaire to the bar.
another witness, a former train driver, said, him, have seen running along the tracks, the day of the drama, a man he thought was in Leclaire. With on her clothes, which could be blood. In the light of these testimonies, theadvocate general Jean-Marie Beney was considered that would have a negative impact now, “indices serious and consistent evidence” against Henri Leclaire, put in examination in the month of August next.
testimonials “not determinants”
Two years later, in April, while the public prosecutor has requested a non-place, two co-investigating judges decide to refer Leclaire in front of the sitting at the side of Heaulme. But last July, on appeal by the lawyer of Leclaire, the pre-trial chamber had issued a non-place. Chantal Beining, who thinks that the murder of children could be perpetrated by a single person, then formed an appeal in cassation against this decision.
In their ruling Tuesday, judges of the higher judiciary, who have rejected, recall that Henri Leclaire “is income on his statements” from the time of detention, and that “some of the details provided by him in his confessions, especially in regard to the clothing worn by the victims [...] are contradicted by other documents in the case”.
They add that the questioning of Henri Leclaire by Francis Heaulme is not probative because the two men did not know each other in 1986 and, in other cases, the serial killer has designated as the accomplices of persons without any connection with his crimes. They also believe that the “different evidence adduced by the civil party, some collected very late”, in which the driver of the train and this woman, “are not decisive”.
pending a judicial response to the “clear and net”
Thierry Moser, lawyer of the parents of Alexandre Beckrich, said he is “pleased” by the announcement of the rejection. In particular, he insists in a press release, in terms of time.
“If the Court of Cassation had now reversed the decision of non-lieu in favor of Leclaire, it would have had to start over the whole procedure of information carried out against him since the interruption of the trial in the spring of 2014.
In other words, the trial Heaulme would not have been able to stand before two or three years at best, a situation that would have been especially unbearable for the families of the victims, which are waiting for a judicial response, clear and sharp for over 30 years.”
Liliane Glock, council of Francis Heaulme, sees in this issue a “maneuver of encirclement” around his client.
“As Heaulme is regarded as the most credible as guilty, we made a vacuum around him,” she confided to AFP, before adding : “At this point, it is not necessary to gargle big feelings. The fair trial, it is finished now.”
At the end of the year, the advocate has reported on the status of the health gradient of his client, imprisoned at the central prison of Ensisheim, Haut-Rhin, and his doubts about his ability to endure a trial. But an expert medical opinion requested by Thierry Moser then estimated his health is compatible with a trial. If the date has not been formally fixed, it should be held in the spring before the assize court of the Moselle river. More than 30 years, so, after the fact.