Excerpts – Assassins

Assassins

As the Mercedes sped down the freeway and under the Pont Alexandre III, Remy confirmed that a black Mercedes passed him at a speed that he estimated being between 87/94km/hr. At that point no other cars were in sight, either in front of the Mercedes or following it, confirming Darmon’s testimony. Other vehicles lay in wait at the Alma tunnel. So, bearing in mind there were no vehicles following the Mercedes as it sped under the Pont des Invalides, where did all the aggressive motorbikes pursuing it, as well as the loitering vehicles at the entrance to the Alma tunnel, come from? They were certainly not paparazzi since, at this point, the paparazzi were still travelling from the Ritz, so how did they know where the Mercedes intended going.

As Scott Baker said: ‘You will remember from photographs taken in the tunnel that wheel tracks in the debris do show that a number of vehicles must have driven past the crashed Mercedes,’ thus accepting that other vehicles passed through the tunnel, most of which were never identified. We also have descriptions from the testimony of several witnesses who described these cars and motorbikes that all passed the crashed Mercedes, which had been loitering, hindering and blocking its path, then carried on their way never to be seen again. The police initially denied this but two years after the murder there was confirmation from the police that several vehicles were indeed present thus proving that they lied at the time. These vehicles had vacated the scene but “nobody could adequately describe them”. Once more, why not permit the jury the option of a suitable verdict?

Darmon said that when he arrived at the tunnel, nobody else was there and the Mercedes was already smashed against the tunnel wall, its horn blaring. The assassins were gone; the paparazzi were not in sight and since we know the vehicles that had already passed through the tunnel were not paparazzi: who were they?

Why did the police ignore the most significant eyewitness evidence of ‘loitering’, ‘aggressive’, ‘hindering’ and ‘blocking’ vehicles near the tunnel? This was information that the chief police investigator declared to be irrelevant despite even the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, admitting that this indicated ‘some evidence’ of a planned attack.

We have considered evidence from witnesses who described vehicles being involved in the ‘crash’ that then fled. Vehicles were driving around the Mercedes, looking inside and then continuing on their journey; loitering cars were ahead of the Mercedes and flashes of light seen inside the tunnel. These flashes were even witnessed by those who entered the tunnel entrance from the other side of the freeway and in the oncoming lane (discounting the court’s reasoning that the flash of light came from the Bateaux Mouches excursion boats since it was impossible to see river lights from here). There were also people in the tunnel not in possession of cameras, who prevented onlookers from encroaching.

Benoît Boura, an army man, described the flash as being like a military strobe gun and he corroborated other witness evidence of the escaping vehicles, as did a British lawyer, Gary Hunter. Souad Mouffakir was within the tunnel and just ahead of the Mercedes when she observed a flash of light, while Olivier Partouche was outside the tunnel with Clifford Gooroovadoo when they observed the flash coming from within. François Levistre saw two motorcycles and a white car; one motorcycle swerved in front of the Mercedes and delivered a flash of light, but Levistre was by now at the far end of the long Alma tunnel so again the light could not have originated from the river.

Levistre’s wife Valerie had instinctively described the whole event as a terrorist attack. Remember, Levistre also witnessed the rider dismount his bike and approach the Mercedes before making a slitting-of-the-throat gesture. His wife also witnessed a motorcycle with two riders on board that rode right past her as it exited the tunnel.

Brenda Wells, a British secretary, witnessed the attack and saw the flash coming from the direction of the tunnel, but in common with other difficult witnesses she was also advised, as was Erik Petel, not to make her observations of the crash known. In fact, she has completely disappeared and one wonders why! What other evidence might she have been able to give?

Jean-Pascal Peyret witnessed two cars exiting the tunnel and Peyret’s wife Severine saw a motorbike exit the tunnel immediately after the crash, which the couple confirmed did not continue past them, thereby indicating these vehicles quickly left the expressway. Brian Andersen saw two motorcycles pass him, driving ‘aggressively and dangerously’ as he approached the tunnel and then a flash of light was followed almost immediately by a loud bang.

Grigori Rassinier saw, as did Benoît Boura from the opposite lane, a large car coming to a halt and a motorcycle with a large yellow headlamp and white helmet or fuel tank following closely behind the Mercedes, which accelerated out of the tunnel. Scotland Yard ignored him when he tried to give evidence yet he even corroborated detail of the attack bikes. Alain Remy saw the Mercedes speeding along the freeway by the Pont Alexandre III and there were no paparazzi in sight. He was ridiculed, but evidence confirmed that loitering vehicles waited ahead.