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The newspaper Le Monde publishes this Friday, July 17, the testimony of a French officer who is causing trouble. Heard following revelations made by RFI a year ago, Lieutenant-Colonel S., who was at the time the head of the French army liaison detachment in Kidal, was recently heard by Jean-Marc Herbaut, the investigating judge in charge of the investigation. This officer confirmed the presence of the special forces that day, but he tried to minimize their role. He also ensures that no helicopter intervened. </p><div> <p>Conventional forces were the first to arrive at the scene of the assassination. This thesis, which the army has been defending for nearly seven years now, Lieutenant-Colonel S. accepted it during his hearing before Judge Herbaut. The officer thus affirms that his detachment, the DLA (liaison and support detachment), "e<em>was the first force to arrive at the crime scene</em> " It is then 2:25 p.m., more than an hour after the kidnapping of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon. " <em>I have a gesture of rage</em>, he confides to the judge, <em>because I understand immediately that the two journalists died</em> ».
Special Forces are the first to attempt to prosecute the kidnappers
But in his testimony, the officer provided crucial information, which had so far been overlooked by the authorities. He recognizes that special forces wanted to play a leading role in pursuit of the kidnappers. Information revealed last year by RFI. At the time, Radio France Internationale explained that the special forces had chased the kidnappers, notably by means of a helicopter. In front of the judge, Lieutenant-Colonel S. ” certify That there was no aerial pursuit. ” The place of installation of the helicopters was located just in front of my bivouac, he explains. If there had been a helicopter, I would have seen it ” And the officer added: ” If a helicopter had arrived in the area, it would inevitably have had contact with my team ».
However, the head of the DLA confirms crucial information released last year by RFI: the special forces are the first to have attempted to prosecute the kidnappers. During his hearing, the officer said he had ” crossed the patrol of the “FS” “As they are nicknamed, when he left with his detachment around 1:40 pm, and he specifies, of” on his own initiative, to seek information ». « They were, he specifies, speaking of the special forces, next to a pickup truck that looks like the kidnappers, and my colleagues told me they had followed a wrong track ».
However, this officer continues throughout his hearing to minimize their importance at the time in Kidal. The special forces, he says, were only ” About ten “And formed only” one patrol ” A ” detachment unable to maintain its own security “, He adds.
Special Forces Commander to be Heard by Judge ?
This testimony appears disturbing to say the least. Why, if there were so few, did the special forces intervene first? Why did they try alone to find the kidnappers?
Did Commander “Charles”, who then headed this special forces unit, notify his hierarchy of this initiative? This commander was the first to be informed of the kidnapping of our two reporters. Why did “Charles” wait 20 minutes before notifying the head of the detachment?
The inconsistencies and contradictions are such in this case that it is difficult to see how Major “Charles” could not be heard by French justice.