“He is a very human person, with whom we can discuss”. Since Monday evening, Olivia Ronen’s remarks about Salah Abdeslam on the set of the program “Quotidien”, have aroused the indignation and incomprehension of certain Internet users or political leaders.
The sequence comes after questions from Yann Barthès, host of the show. The journalist Julien Bellver asks the lawyer if she hesitated to defend the terrorist. “I didn’t hesitate for very long because I saw that there was something to be done, I saw that the contact was good, contrary to all the ideas we might have had. He is someone who is very human, someone with whom we can discuss. And he’s someone with whom you can build something, ”she replies.
“It’s difficult to hear you say that he is someone very human”, then relaunches the journalist. “And yet, and yet… I am against ready-made ideas, which come to say that a person is to be excluded from humanity, that he is a monster, that he is someone inhuman. No, I think that the facts with which he is accused are, on the contrary, very human and that leads to understanding them, to thinking about them a little differently. When I say to understand them, that does not mean to justify them, to legitimize them. But it is also this work of the Assize Court to know what happened so that we get there”, continues the “black dress”.
For some Internet users, these comments are “indecent, even revolting”. Some call the member of the commando a “monster”. “This criminal took part in an act of war of rare barbarism, his lawyer helps to trivialize absolute evil”, believe others.
This interview was also quickly picked up by certain accounts close to Éric Zemmour’s party, Reconquête!. “The families of the victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015 will no doubt be delighted to learn that Salah Abdeslam is a very humane person”, criticizes an activist account.
A controversy which has the gift of annoying the associations of victims of the attacks of November 13, joined this Tuesday by Le Parisien. “It’s yet another recovery from Reconquest!. They have a candidate who is the father of a victim, but the party does not represent the families in any way,” protests Arthur Dénouveaux, president of the Life For Paris association, which brings together victims of the November 13 attacks.
“We are delighted to know that Salah Abdeslam is well defended. That’s the meaning of having such a long trial. His lawyer has the right to say that on television, insists the Bataclan survivor. The defense has every opportunity to express itself, we are committed to a fair trial. We have been seeing them for a little over nine months, they have always been extremely respectful.
“She is not going to say on the Daily set that he is not human”
“Without Olivia Ronen and her buddy (his colleague Martin Vettes), the trial would have been worse. They succeeded in making their client understand that expressing himself served him, but above all served justice. He decided to speak when he had been totally silent during his trial in Belgium, we owe them in large part, ”recalls Arthur Dénouveaux.
A nuanced point of view shared by Philippe Duperron, president of the other association of victims of November 13 “13 Onze 15 fraternity and truth”, who defends the idea of a fair trial and wishes that the accused be defended as best as possible. . “We refuse to play the game of lack of nuance and stigma,” assures the spokesperson for the families of the victims. “Olivia Ronen is in her role. She is not going to say on the Daily set that he is not human, he continues. But when he tells him that he has given up blowing himself up out of humanity, we must remain skeptical.
“The trial revealed part of the character. The psychiatric report said that there is always in every human being a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde. His humanity is therefore not disputed, but that is the difficulty of this trial: it is indeed human beings who have committed these acts, not monsters, ”he is moved. Contacted by Le Parisien, Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer, Olivia Ronen, did not wish to comment on this controversy.