Jonathann Daval acquitted of charges of slanderous denunciation of his in-laws

Jonathann Daval acquitted of charges of slanderous denunciation of his in-laws
Jonathann Daval acquitted of charges of slanderous denunciation of his in-laws

Jonathann Daval, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for the murder of his wife Alexia, was acquitted of charges of slanderous denunciation brought by his in-laws on Friday by the Besançon criminal court.

“The denunciations did not have the aspect of spontaneity required by law,” judge Guillaume Law of Lauriston said in particular.

The 40-year-old former computer scientist listened to the reading of the judgment by videoconference from Ensisheim prison (Haut-Rhin) where he is incarcerated.

He was sued for slanderous denunciation by Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot, Alexia’s parents, their daughter Stéphanie and her husband Grégory Gay, who were consequently dismissed in their requests.

Jonathann Daval faced five years in prison, a sentence which would have in any case been confused with his conviction for murder. His in-laws demanded 60,000 euros in damages, including 30,000 euros for Grégory Gay, 10,000 euros for Alexia’s sister and 10,000 euros for each of the parents.

During the investigation, Jonathann Daval initially admitted to being the author of the murder of his wife, before retracting and accusing his brother-in-law Grégory Gay of having strangled Alexia. The family then made “a secret pact to cover up the affair”, he claimed.

Six months later, he finally admitted having lied and confessed again to the murder of his wife.

While recognizing the “rare immorality” of Jonathann Daval’s accusations against his in-laws, the public prosecutor of Besançon, Etienne Manteaux, requested the acquittal during the hearing on April 10. He felt that it was “time to definitively close this Daval file on one side or the other”.

Jonathann Daval strangled his wife Alexia on the night of October 27 to 28, 2017 at their home in Gray-la-Ville (Haute-Saône). The next day, he transported her body to a wood before setting it on fire and raising the alarm, claiming that his wife had not returned from her jogging. Alexia’s body was found two days later.

For three months, Jonathann Daval had shown the face of a grieving widower in the media, before being confused in the middle of the #MeToo wave, an affair which had moved and passionate the French.

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