Interrupted Wednesday evening after a “vagal discomfort” of the accused in full interrogation, the trial of Jonathann Daval before the assizes of Haute-Saône should resume Thursday but remains suspended on the state of health of the accused, who must pass an exam.
“According to an initial diagnosis, he had vagal discomfort” but his state of health is “reassuring”, attorney general Emmanuel Dupic told AFP on Wednesday evening, according to which the trial should resume Thursday morning.
“A priori, he should be there” Thursday morning, confirmed to AFP one of his lawyers, Mr. Randall Schwerdorffer.
Mr. Daval’s uneasiness occurred as the trial had just gotten to the heart of the matter, with two extremely emotional moments: the depositions of the civil parties and the questioning of the accused.
– “Medical exam” –
Caught under the fire of questions from President Matthieu Husson who urged him to explain his complicated relationship with Alexia, including their difficulty in conceiving a child, Mr. Daval suddenly turned pale, before collapsing, after about three quarter of an hour of interrogation.
The prison escort officers then took him out of the box. He was then taken to Vesoul hospital where he was to spend the night from Wednesday to Thursday “under observation”, said Emmanuel Dupic.
“He was immediately taken care of (…) in optimum medical conditions and everything was done so that the trial could resume” Thursday, said Me Schwerdorffer.
However, this resumption is suspended from a medical examination that Jonathann Daval will have to pass Thursday morning “just before” the hearing which must begin at 9:00 am, in order to “fully guarantee his health conditions”, specified the Advocate General.
Jonathann Daval has been on trial since Monday for the murder of his wife Alexia. The body of this 29-year-old bank employee was found on October 30, 2017 in a wood, a few kilometers from the marital home of Gray-la-Ville (Haute-Saône).
– “Not excusable” –
This 36-year-old computer scientist played the weeping widowers for three months, before being arrested. After presenting several sides of the story, he finally admitted having killed Alexia during an argument.
He also confessed to having partially burned his body.
Before his discomfort in the middle of the Assize Court, the frail thirty-something, his voice choked with emotion, had presented his “apologies”, in particular to Alexia’s parents for having “taken their daughter”, while qualifying her gesture as “not excusable”.
He also reiterated his version of the facts: he killed Alexia during a violent marital dispute.
Me Schwerdorffer had requested that his client be heard on Thursday: the interrogation may have taken place “too late”, after a day “very emotionally dense and very hard, with very strong testimonies” from relatives of Alexia, in particular those of his parents, Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot.
Mr. and Mrs. Fouillot, who have long considered Jonathann as a son, have indeed delivered very harsh testimonies against him: Mr. Fouillot has thus asked for “the maximum penalty” against Jonathann, prosecuted for murder of a spouse and who faces life imprisonment.
Isabelle Fouillot she urged Jonathann to speak “the truth”, to be “for once (…) a man” and to take his “responsibilities”.
Alexia’s sister, Stéphanie, and her husband Grégory Gay, also testified and told of their “nightmare”.
“I do not know if it would have changed if it had not been for these four remarkable depositions,” said their lawyer, Me Gilles-Jean Portejoie. “They gave him an image which in my opinion corresponds to reality” and “which shook him”.
– “Frustrated” –
“It is an extremely particular case”, with “quality hearings (…) that cannot be interrupted, which explains why we end up late and that the trial continues when we are already very much delay “on the schedule of the hearings, planned until Friday, abounded Me Schwerdorffer.
The civil parties, very critical of the apology and the version presented on Wednesday by the accused, now have their eyes on Thursday’s hearing.
“It was not an apology, it was too minimal. Me, I expect a lot more”, said after the hearing Isabelle Fouillot. “I’m frustrated. Let’s wait until tomorrow, we hope that it starts again and that he answers the questions of the judge”.