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the attacker apologizes, the victims get annoyed

The trial of the driver of the pizzeria of Sept-Sorts opened on Tuesday, more than three years after the facts. On August 14, 2017, in this commune of Seine-et-Marne, a 32-year-old man had driven his car onto the crowded terrace of a pizzeria, injuring a dozen and killing a 13-year-old girl. At the hearing on Tuesday, the accused was for the first time confronted with his victims.

“I admit the facts and I apologize”

As soon as he arrived at the bar, the few words he said went wrong with the many victims present in the room. “I admit the facts and I apologize for it. But I don’t recognize the premeditation, I was in the middle of a delusional episode, it happened unexpectedly.”

This argument, Sarah, a waitress in the pizzeria on the night of the drama, cannot hear it. She saw the car accelerate towards her and heard the tires screeching, then the screams of the victims. “He is not the victim. This trial brings up bad memories. It will last three weeks and it will be very complicated,” she confides at the microphone of Europe 1.

“Alteration” of his discernment

The parents of the deceased teenager hardly concealed their annoyance at an apology they considered circumstantial. After the accused, they heard his father and sister recount his difficult childhood, the absence of a mother, who died when he was 2 years old, his romantic and professional failures, his feeling of abandonment and then his delirious outbursts linked to abrupt withdrawal from cannabis two weeks before the incident.

The accused says he is ready to answer as much as he can, but he mentions memory gaps that prevent him from retracing the precise course of the facts, according to his lawyer Emmanuel Giordana. Psychiatric experts have recognized a deterioration in his discernment on the evening of the facts, which his lawyer will try to highlight throughout the trial.

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