Arrested with 10 kg of cannabis in his car in Montpellier: we explain why the defendant was finally acquitted by the court

Arrested with 10 kg of cannabis in his car in Montpellier: we explain why the defendant was finally acquitted by the court
Arrested with 10 kg of cannabis in his car in Montpellier: we explain why the defendant was finally acquitted by the court

On February 27, this 27-year-old Montpellier resident was arrested in Montpellier with 10 kg of cannabis resin in his car. He had responded to an order placed a little earlier by telephone. But according to his lawyers, the police had set a trap for their client. The criminal court considered that there was enough dubious evidence to acquit the defendant.

A 27-year-old man from Montpellier, arrested on February 27 with 10 kg of cannabis resin in his car, and prosecuted for possession and transportation of narcotics, was finally acquitted on Tuesday July 9 by the Montpellier Criminal Court. The charges: “the doubt” which remains, according to the court, as to the methods used by the police to achieve this arrest. While the defense lawyers requested the cancellation of the procedure, the court had entrusted an investigation to the police of the police (IGPN). Tuesday, July 9, at the end of their deliberations, the judges considered that there was “enough evidence to raise doubts” to pronounce the acquittal of the accused.

“A provocation to commit an offence”

His lawyers, Marc Gallix and Garance Tursan say they are convinced that there was police provocation in this case, that is to say, as Mr. Tursan argued, “a provocation to commit an offence, a ploy by the police”. Indeed, the young man claims to have received an order for narcotics via a text message sent by one of his acquaintances. However, at that time, this person was in custody at the Montpellier police station and therefore did not have access to his phones. Could one of them have been used by investigators to arrange a meeting with the cannabis dealer, and thus proceed with his arrest? This is the theory put forward by the defense.

The IGPN investigation, requested on March 25, aimed to shed light on the custody of the Montpellier resident arrested with the drugs, and his contact, heard at the police station at the same time. It emerges in particular that for each of them, one of their mobile phones disappeared at the end of their hearing. For the first, we also note the absence of a search log. On the other hand, there is no trace of text messages or use of messaging (Whatsapp, Signal, etc.) between the phones concerned, during the time slot in question.


“Can doubt, suspicion, be enough to establish the truth of a fact?”asks the prosecutor at the hearing, who cites the conclusions of the IGPN report. According to the internal investigation, the elements collected “reinforce the credibility of police provocation, without however establishing proof of it.” The representative of the public prosecutor admits that there were “failures” in police custody procedures. “But can this lack of rigour be enough to say that the police provoked?” She is asking for the incident to be joined to the merits and is requesting, against the Montpellier resident with a criminal record of 27 convictions, three years in prison, one of which is suspended, and a committal order for the firm part.

These requisitions also targeted the acts of violence and rebellion during the arrest, for which the defendant is being prosecuted. Me Virginie Manzi represents the two police officers who restrained him with difficulty on February 27, near a fast-food restaurant in the Alco district. She is requesting damages for moral prejudice for each of them.

But the criminal court, presided over by Alix Fredon, finally declared the proceedings to be cancelled, due to suspicion of police provocation in this case. The court noted in particular that one of the telephones of the person in custody at the police station, at the time of the arrest, had been the subject of a “utilisation active.”

The prosecution “intends to appeal this decision”

“I intend to appeal this decision based on suspicion of police provocation, without this having been demonstrated”indicated, this Wednesday, July 10, the public prosecutor of Montpellier, Fabrice Bélargent. For her part, Marjorie Ghizoli, the interdepartmental director of public security of Hérault, and head of the department’s police officers, announced that she has “confidence in his investigators”.



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