“In a trial, you have to make a choice between tears,” argued Sylvie Galley, lawyer for Narumi’s family on Monday, “we cannot cry for both the assassin and the civil parties. “Over two weeks of uncompromising legal proceedings, of crazy intensity, sometimes scathing verbal violence, sobs streamed from both sides of the bar, on the changing face of Nicolas Zepeda in the dock. , as on those of Kurumi and Taeko Kurosaki. Narumi’s sister and mother had come from Japan to confront the Chilean “demon”, in search of unbearable answers that they will not have obtained at all. Nicolas Zepeda and his lawyer Me Laffont, a moment seized this Monday during the pleadings. Photo ER/Ludovic LAUDE The denial hypothesis The Doubs Assize Court chose its tears. Five years after the disappearance of Narumi Kurosaki, and despite the absence of the body of the martyred student, Nicolas Zepeda was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Tuesday in a packed courtroom. announcement of the verdict, the Chilean did not move an eyelash. No reaction, no tears. Absolute impassivity, in a cathedral silence. Zepeda does not have a look for his parents, seated on his right, who also look away. In front of the dock, Narumi Kurosaki’s mother has taken out the portrait of her daughter, which she caresses with tenderness infinite. “Nicolas Zepeda’s hand had not trembled,” claimed Me Schwerdorffer during the pleadings of the civil parties, when killing Narumi. The lawyer encouraged the jurors “not to tremble” them either when plating a judicial truth on the Narumi mystery. A false mystery in reality, denounced the accusation, artificially created by Nicolas Zepeda to hide his crime from the world, from his own parents… And perhaps from himself. This is the hypothesis of denial, considered by all. A psychological lock that would so far be insurmountable for the South American, unable to admit his horrible gesture. A judicial truth, in the absence of a simple truth From the point of view of justice, the mystery no longer exists… No absolute truth, no, but a judicial truth. It is certain that this decision will not console the relatives of Narumi, animated by a single hope that looks like a curse before the trial: to bring back the remains of their daughter, their sister, for a funeral in Japan. In Japanese belief, the trap in which Narumi is imprisoned will drag on forever. place where his body rests, or what is left of it. This Zepeda governed by a deep “search for control” of others and of himself, according to shrinks, does he still derive an unhealthy pleasure from preserving “in the secrets of his soul” the real fate of Narumi? “He alone knows,” agrees the Advocate General, “it’s his only victory, and it’s monstrous. “The defense of” the slightest doubt “was not enough By claiming life imprisonment, Etienne Manteaux had warned: he finds” no mitigating circumstances “in Nicolas Zepeda, “liar”, “manipulator”, “concealer “. According to the Advocate General, the South American had planned his passage to the criminal act, “a plan B” in his tortured mind, in case his ex-girlfriend refused to come back to him. A premeditation forcefully resisted by Zepeda’s lawyers. Rather discreet throughout a crucifixion-like trial, Me Laffont and Me Benedetti had subtly tried to agitate “a tiny part of doubt” under the nose of the jury, to reveal possible “flaws” in an accusation “presented as implacable”, while letting it appear that this doubt could easily turn against Zepeda, by mirror effect, when it was necessary to maintain an innocence in which no one really believed anymore. Denials until the last minute of the trial “I tried to defend Nicolas Zepeda against all odds, against the charges, against himself and sometimes against myself”, pleaded Me Laffont on a thread, while saying she was “impressed” by her client’s “resistance”, on her knees but never broken by the accusations. Including this Tuesday morning again when, invited to conclude the debates, Nicolas Zepeda spoke for the first time in French. “I’m not Narumi’s killer,” he said as a plea, trying to save his skin. His lawyer also had these powerful words about a “Nicolas who comes from another planet” to paraphrase the psychologist heard by the Assize Court: “Nicolas Zepeda’s loneliness is immense, it is terrifying. If he’s guilty, he doesn’t tell anyone. If he is innocent, everything accuses him, and he is the only one to know it.” The Assize Court opted for the loneliness of the culprit. Ignoring her tears. The disastrous mystery of room 106 remainsA nagging, eternal and vain question remains: what happened in room 106 of the Théodore-Rousseau university residence, on the night of December 4 to 5, 2016? Narumi Kurosaki, a death without image, but not without sound. “Cries of horror”, “of terror”, muffled noises of a body being banged against the wall, then this “rattle” of agony, which the student’s neighbors heard… A sound, then a nightmarish silence. Turning his back on the Kurosaki family, and on this mother who throughout the trial held the portrait of her missing daughter against her chest, Nicolas Zepeda goes back to prison with his answers. His secrets. Faced with this unfavorable verdict, the game of failure is nevertheless not over for the defense, which has the possibility of appealing this decision. This option would bring the Chilean on the road to a second trial, organized in 2023 or 2024. On this path, who knows, maybe he will change his version again? Long format video. All about the Narumi case
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