Since April 25, the two companies have been tried, alongside a former railway worker, for “involuntary injuries” and “involuntary homicides”. At issue: the derailment of the Paris-Limoges train on July 12, 2013 at Brétigny-sur-Orge station (Essonne), which killed 7 people and injured more than 400 physically and/or psychologically.
The prosecutor was due to take his submissions on Tuesday, but the court decided to adjourn them after receiving nearly 320 pages of submissions filed by the defendants’ lawyers on Monday afternoon, which the prosecutor admitted not having been able to consult in their entirety. .
At the helm, Emmanuel Marsigny, lawyer for the SNCF, defended “the volume” of these writings: “the 168 pages for the criminal section” contain in particular a summary of the “extremely instructive interventions of experts” at the hearing.
In these pages, the SNCF Réseau (ex-Réseau Ferré de France, track manager) and the SNCF (criminal heiress of SNCF Infra, in charge of maintenance) asked the court for their release and a dissociation of the criminal and civil aspects of the case. , that is to say to hold a new hearing on the damages claimed by the civil parties.
Several civil party councils reacted by “firmly opposing” such a referral on civil interests, fearing that it would take years.
At this stage, the court has registered 215 civil parties, including claims for compensation that may exceed more than 100,000 euros for some victims.
After a recess at lunchtime to discuss it, the court did not decide, postponing its decision. However, he encouraged the SNCF to file, by Friday included, what it had “ready” for its civil defense.
– “Uncertainty” on the civil component –
“It’s traumatic,” reacted to AFP Thierry Gomes, president of the association Mutual aid and defense of victims of the Brétigny disaster (EDVCB). By not immediately dismissing this request for dismissal, the president leaves the victims “uncertain” until the deliberation, he said.
In the morning, the president, Cécile Louis-Loyant, had noted the complexity of this request in the context of a trial such as Brétigny.
“Is it possible to record a request for dismissal on civil interests, after an investigation which lasted more than seven years, after 52 hearings, at the rate of 4 days out of 5 for seven weeks, during which we all made efforts to be punctual and enduring?” she wondered.
“Is it possible to say today, to all the civil parties, that their requests will not be decided until much later?”, Continued the magistrate.
The prosecutor insisted on recalling that the compensation process was “just as important” as the criminal response: it “allows support through psychological care and follow-up and material compensation to get out of the trauma” of the accident. .
His requisitions, on the criminal side, are now scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Among the many questions to be addressed: the SNCF and SNCF Réseau, which each incur a fine of up to 225,000 euros, should they have renewed the switchgear early?
Should the running speed of the trains have been reduced? Increased staff? The former railway worker, who faces up to three years in prison, did he lack vigilance?
The pleadings of the defense will follow with Thursday, the defense of the former railway worker and SNCF Réseau then, Friday, the pleadings of the SNCF.
The judgment of the court will be reserved.