8 years for the main instigator

Neighboring France


The main instigator of an arson that started on December 31, 2019 in the Planoise district in Besançon was sentenced Wednesday to eight years of imprisonment by the Besançon criminal court. The flames had destroyed the municipal pound, more than 160 vehicles and a shopping center.

“It is he who directs, while being at a distance, it cost him 3000 euros and it generates 10 million euros of damage to society”, criticized the prosecutor Étienne Manteaux at the hearing, requiring the same sentence in the name of the “right of the inhabitants of Planoise to live in peace”.

Four other defendants involved to varying degrees in the preparation and execution of the fire were sentenced to terms ranging from 18 months in prison, 12 of which were suspended, to five years in prison, including 24 months suspended.

According to their lawyers, they were only the “executors” and “fuses” of a criminal organization which gave them a few hundred euros to render “services” difficult to refuse.

On the other hand, the court released two defendants “for the benefit of the doubt”, the prosecution announcing that it would appeal these releases.

On December 31, 2019, four men entered the pound located in the heart of the working-class district of Planoise and set a stolen car on fire, threatening the guards with a dummy weapon.

Destroy evidence

The flames quickly spread, destroying more than 160 vehicles and a shopping center considered as the “social lung” and “vital artery” of the neighborhood by the civil parties. About forty firefighters intervened to extinguish this furnace, which peaked at 800 degrees.

The targeted BMW had been used during an episode of heavy weapons fire a few days earlier. “By attacking a BMW to destroy the evidence of a crime, you attacked the daily life of the inhabitants of the district, of your relatives”, pleaded Me Michaël Goupil, for the city and the agglomeration of Besançon.

This arson was linked to the violent armed clashes between, from November 2019 to March 2020, two rival gangs for the control of the drug market in Planoise, killing one and a dozen injured, aged 14 to 31. . About fifty people were indicted in this case under investigation.


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