After the then Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and the Minister of the Interior Dominique de Villepin, Michèle Alliot-Marie was at the helm on Tuesday afternoon, April 13. With always the same question at the heart of the hearings: why did France release the alleged pilots made available by Togo, who, however, had warned through the channels of three ministries? The testimony of the former Minister of Defense was especially expected, but did not really make it possible to see more clearly.
Michèle Alliot-Marie remembers perfectly the circumstances in which she learned bombing of the French base in BouakéNovember 6, 2004. She was “rue de Bourgogne” when she got the call. A real “blow to the stomach” she said.
However, his memories are much less accurate when feedback and responsibility are mentioned. In addition, she specifies from the outset regarding military operations abroad, “The Ministry of Defense is a ministry for the execution of decisions made by others”, of which the Minister is “kept informed.” However, Michèle Alliot-Marie says that it was obviously one of her concerns to follow in the footsteps of sponsors.
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Civil parties not convinced
In the Togolese section, she indicates that she has been informed twice about the detention of the alleged pilots. Although her ministry “could not take the initiative” because it “had no competence”, she insists, the minister claims he has tried to “help”. But “the first time, a few days after the bombing, I recorded the information, and when I asked what happened the next day, I was told that they had been released,” she says.
The second time, “I know there were discussions, and if I remember correctly, the Foreign Ministry’s services considered that there was no possibility”. And the minister revealed to the court “I then asked if it was possible to set up an operation of the DGSE to get them back”. The day to ask about the conditions, “I was told” it is useless, they have already left “”, the Minister concludes.
A revelation, a kind of ultimate promise of good faith, which, to hear them, did not convince the civil parties.
“We still do not have many answers to this important question, which is why the alleged pilots were released. They were not even tried anywhere else. “
I’m Carole Delestrade, one of the lawyers for the civil parties in the Bouaké trial
“It was a mainly military and political crisis, which was treated as such during much of the streak. In addition, I do not think we really wanted justice to be of interest in this case. “
David Senate, former legal adviser to Michèle Alliot-Marie
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