Corruption trial in Fresnes: the former detention director “regrets” “serious” faults

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    This head of division 3 of Fresnes, Khalid El Khal, 53, is being prosecuted for having received money in exchange for advantages granted to these prisoners. He is on trial for passive corruption and criminal association for facts ranging from January 2016 to March 2018.

    Cell phones, fewer searches, more showers, visiting rooms and “freedom in detention” … Three detainees, including two figures of the “carbon tax” scam, Arnaud Mimran and Fabrice Touil, are suspected to have benefited from a privileged detention regime thanks to the favors of this detention director of the wing where they were imprisoned.

    All of the defendants dispute the facts.

    Asked by the court on Tuesday about having seen Fabrice Touil on several occasions when he left prison, the official, who returned to the prison administration in 1997, said he “deeply regretted” “serious mistakes” and “mistakes ethics”.

    In this “very rewarding” and “very human” job where he had to manage 900 inmates in his division, he admitted having “failed” in his “mission”: “I did not respect the code of ethics”, a- he said in a flood of words, however denying any criminal offense.

    – “Special benevolence” –

    “When a detainee returns to detention, the objective is to reintegrate him, I did this job with humanity”, underlines Khalid El Khal, to whom the prosecution accuses a close proximity with detainees of the Jewish faith linked to ” issues with high financial stakes”, such as the carbon tax affair.

    On the question of extended visiting rooms, showers, “kosher parallel canteens”, disciplinary procedures, the former detention director assured “having no power” or “legal authorization” on these missions.

    “I do not have the skill of these advantages, my only advantage is my listening, my presence”, he added.

    He explained in particular “multiply the hearings with the detainees” to defuse possible violence between detainees or avoid suicides, evoking the “extremely” difficult conditions at the Fresnes remand center.

    At his side, three former detainees from the prison of Fresnes are considered “the corrupters” and tried for active corruption.

    Currently detained in the prison of Health, Arnaud Mimran, short black hair and beard of a few days, appeared relaxed Tuesday in the box of the defendants. The former trader is due to be heard Tuesday afternoon.

    In his case, the official is suspected in particular of having played a role in his transfer to Le Havre prison, but also of having granted him “favorable conditions of detention”.

    Placed under judicial supervision, √Čric Robic, a French driver who ran over a woman of Israeli nationality in Tel Aviv in 2011 before fleeing, appears free.

    The former director would have granted him “particular benevolence” in the management of several incidents, but also favors such as the allocation of a sports assistant position “without respecting the allocation procedure”.

    The third detainee, Fabrice Touil, under judicial supervision but absent from the hearing, would also have benefited from numerous advantages. Like a daily shower instead of the weekly three. He is also suspected of having given money directly to Mr. El Khal upon his release from prison.

    According to the prosecution, “the announced objective of these exchanges is to continue the pattern of corruption already in place”.

    The investigation began in February 2017, after a report from the prison administration. This report followed a note from the Comptroller General of places of deprivation of liberty on the existence of a possible system of corruption and preferential treatment in Fresnes.

    The trial is to be held until Thursday.