At the Marseille Criminal Court, silence, deep, succeeded the defendant’s fits of tears, this Thursday afternoon in the room of the barracks of Muy, in Marseille, dedicated to extraordinary trials. After a morning devoted to various expert reports, the court relaunched the hearing at 1.30 p.m., examining the consumption of drugs by Nadine Oliveira, the school bus driver prosecuted, in particular, for the involuntary homicide of six children, who died in the Millas accident. One tablet of Zopiclone, a sleeping pill, per evening. A drug that presents a contraindication to driving within twelve hours of taking it. A product that she had been consuming since 2011, without being able to get rid of it. The court then tries to explore the trail of a “micro-sleep”, which the defendant sweeps away: “No, I did not fall asleep. “But the hearing took another turn around 3 p.m., when after questions from Céline Ballérini, the president of the court, and while the defendant was struggling to speak between two sobs, the lawyers for the civil parties were returned to what Nadine Oliveira calls “her black hole”. This moment that separates the second before the shock when he regains consciousness. “I wake up with a start, and there I don’t know if I dropped off the children and I know there is a problem. I have the impression of seeing the scene from above, the helicopters, the cries of the children… The last thing I remember is the open barrier”, she formulates, once again, in sobbing, regularly wiping her tears with a handkerchief taken from one of the two packets available on the desk located under the bar. and re-explains for the umpteenth time the scene that changed her life and that of the 23 schoolchildren she was transporting and for whom she was responsible. Then the tears gave way to an uncontrolled outburst of tears, leading the president of the court to suspend the hearing. From behind the door adjoining the room where Nadine Oliveira was taken, the audience hears her heavy inspirations which follow the cries of collapse. Inès, one of the schoolgirl victims, then goes through the door and sets out to see her former driver. The firefighters intervene, and end up evacuating the defendant. “The hearing will not resume tonight. It will resume on Monday. We will see what state Mrs. Oliveira is in,” announced the president of the court after waiting for silence to settle. Visibly also affected by the emotion of a trying week of trial, the judge then took the time to say a word to the audience. “What we are going through, without any comparison with what the victims are going through, is very heavy. But I would like this weekend, we have a thought for the future, ”she concluded, referring to the 18 years that Enzo, one of the surviving children, is about to celebrate.
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