For Maître Patrice Spinosi, the decision rendered this Wednesday by the Court of Cassation constitutes “a real open door towards a possible release” of Pierre Alessandri. Sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of the prefect Erignac, the latter has been conditional for five years. His lawyer granted us an interview.
After the cancellation by the Court of Cassation of the refusal to adjust the sentence of Pierre Alessandri, his counsel, Patrice Spinosi, qualified this decision “great victory“.
“We therefore want to believe that this decision is the last that will make it possible to definitively validate this right to parole that Pierre Alessandri has been asserting for several years now.“, reacted this Wednesday, October 26 the lawyer of the detainee sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of the prefect Erignac.
Imprisoned since May 1999, Pierre Alessandri has been subject to conditions since May 2017.
“If all the stars are favorable to us, we could hope for a parole in the course of the year 2024, at the latest 2025“, estimated Me Spinosi who granted us an interview.
France 3 Corse: what will this decision of the Court of Cassation mean for Pierre Alessandri?
Mr. Patrice Spinosi: A new Chamber of instruction will now be seized with new judges. This can no longer be judged by those who three times refused to grant Pierre Alessandri’s request for release. These new judges will have to apply the reading grid which was imposed by the Court of Cassation. This grid is very clear. She tells the appeals judge “you cannot rule on general grounds”. What the Chamber of the instruction said each time to reject the requests of Pierre Alessandri, it was that the assassination of the prefect Erignac was an extremely serious crime which still had repercussions in the French society. She also said that there is still a terrorist threat in France. The Court of Cassation says that this is no longer possible. She says: “you can no longer content yourself with asserting generalities, you must answer by taking into consideration the specific path of reintegration of Pierre Alessandri”.
Regarding the “serious disturbance to public order” put forward by the Court of Appeal in October 2021, what was broken today by the highest judicial court: the argument in itself or not -justification of this argument?
What was broken was the generality of the argument of the Investigating Chamber which mixed everything up. She said that the disturbance to public order exists because there is a terrorist threat in France. She mixed Corsican terrorism and Islamic terrorism, pointing out the effect that the release of terrorists could have. However, all this, the Court of Cassation expressly condemns. She says you can’t do these general things into consideration. In practice, she says: if Pierre Alessandri goes out tomorrow, is there a real disturbance of public order? However, this question has already been answered. The trial judge considered that this threat was not sufficient to postpone a conditional release measure.
In the same way, the prison administration committee which had to assess the risk of dangerousness of Pierre Alessandri also concluded that he did not present any dangerousness. It is therefore difficult to see what arguments could still be put forward by the Investigating Chamber.
Given the ongoing proceedings, if all the decisions were in favor of conditional release, when could this be considered?
First, what is certain is that this decision of the Court of Cassation constitutes a real open door to a possible release. Today, there are no longer any legal obstacles to the conditional release of Pierre Alessandri. That’s the first thing.
The second is that the Court of Appeal should rule within 4 or 5 months, so a priori before the spring of 2023. If it were to confirm the decision on conditional release, it would then take about a year. a priori, even a year and a half for this release to become effective. So, if all the stars are in our favor, we could hope for a release in the course of the year 2024, at the latest 2025.
Regarding Alain Ferrandi – who was also refused his various requests for semi-freedom -, could the analysis of justice be the same?
There is no reason for there to be a different treatment between Pierre Alessandri and Alain Ferrandi. They have been the subject of parole applications. Overall, at the same time, they had in the same way very favorable assessments from the prison administration commission which must assess the dangerousness of the prisoners. So, without wanting to prejudge what the court decisions might be, if Alain Ferrandi presents requests that are identical to those of Pierre Alessandri, there is no reason why we should not grant his if we have upholds those of Pierre Alessandri.
“It’s a decision that is important. Moreover, it will certainly set a precedent, obviously for the other people who have been convicted for the assassination of the prefect Erignac.”Master Patrice Spinosi
Pierre Alessandri’s lawyer
In terms of anti-terrorism, do you have an example of a decision similar to the one rendered this Wednesday by the Court of Cassation?
It is an important decision. Moreover, it will certainly make case law, obviously for the other people who have been convicted for the assassination of the prefect Erignac. But in a more general way, it is an important decision since in terms of the right to adjustment of a sentence, the Court of Cassation recalls the fundamental principles: the right to reintegration, the fact that it is necessary take into consideration the personal background of the convicted person, that we cannot take into consideration the nature of the acts for which he was convicted. This constitutes a reminder of the principles which should normally systematically guide the criminal judge. And it is quite fortunate that the Court of Cassation judges the law and reminds all of the French criminal courts.