- Cécile Bourgeon, the mother of Fiona who died in 2013 at the age of 5, and her former companion Berkane Makhlouf are on trial until December 16 before the assizes of the Rhône for the death of the girl.
- The first day of the appeal trial was devoted to the personality of the two defendants.
- The president of the court responsible for leading the debates did not spare Cécile Bourgeon, presenting another face to the jurors.
At the assize court of the Rhône, in Lyon
His appearance in the courtroom initially surprised. Even almost disconcerting the audience who had remembered another image of her. That of a puffy woman talking softly as if numbed by the pills. On the first day of her appeal before the Rhône Assize Court, Cécile Bourgeon, the mother of little Fiona, presented a completely different face. Appearing free in the box of the accused alongside her ex-companion Berkane Makhlouf, she appeared thinner, her darker hair held back by a thick red headband. Longer hair too and curly. Should there be a sign that Cécile Bourgeon has changed?
His more assured attitude contrasts singularly with that of the first trials. But also with that of Berkane Makhlouf. He struggles to articulate, stumbles on words, sometimes answers missing the point. The president advises him to take no more medication. “It might knock you out,” he warns her.
“I have a heart”
Makhlouf defends himself as best he can, even if it means passing for “a big idiot” in the words of his brother. “I have a heart”, launches the accused. His interventions could make you smile if it were not to find out how little Fiona died on May 12, 2013. Ali, Berkane’s brother, remains convinced that he did not have “the intelligence”, to having staged the disappearance of the girl whose body has never been found. “Cecile is much smarter,” he said at the helm.
For now, the facts and the role of the former lovers have not been discussed. During this first day, the debates only focused on the personality of the accused. And the similarities, noted in the sentimental life of Cécile Bourgeon, may have disturbed the court. “I have the impression that it is committed very quickly and inconsistently,” said the president. As evidenced by his last meeting: an Algerian undocumented migrant that Cécile Bourgeon dredged up on a website and met a month after his release. “You get out of prison in February 2019 and find yourself pregnant in June. You are not making our task easier, ”the president of the court responsible for leading the debates blurted out a bit puzzled.
Pregnant four months after being released from prison
The rest of the story does not plead in favor of the accused. From this quickly sealed union, a little girl was born in March 2020. Cécile Bourgeon’s fourth child. Immediately withdrawn from his parents. “Your baby seems to have had a bad start in life,” attacks the president. He has a father who seems more interested in his papers than anything else and a mother who has major legal concerns ”.
The child suffered from withdrawal syndrome at birth, he reveals. From there to think that the mother took again drugs during her pregnancy. “No, it’s Subutex (substitution drug),” she replies without completely convincing her audience. Especially since her husband with whom she lives in Perpignan, is suspected of consuming narcotics. Like an air of deja vu …
Cécile Bourgeon and Berkane Makhlouf face 30 years of criminal imprisonment. The verdict is expected on December 16.