It’s a move that could revive a case that dates back seven decades. On the night of Tuesday 28 to Wednesday 29 September, the Senate gave the green light to a government amendment which could allow the revision of the Mis and Thiennot affair, dating from 1947.
Within the framework of the bill “Confidence in the judicial institution”, the text provides for “Make mention of torture in the procedure for reviewing criminal convictions”, thus widening the possibilities of referrals to the Court of Revision.
This only covers “Old procedures, intervened under the empire of the code of criminal investigation, before police custody was not, in 1960, consecrated, regulated and framed by the code of criminal procedure”, according to the text of the amendment.
“I ask you, I beg you to vote for this amendment”, declared the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti in front of the senators. “Confidence in justice is also sometimes allowing justice to say that it could have been wrong, because it is not infallible”, he said again.
Previous revision requests rejected
Raymond Mis and Gabriel Thiennot were convicted in the 1950s for the murder of Louis Boistard, a gamekeeper found dead on December 31, 1946 in a pond in Saint-Michel-en-Brenne (Indre).
Arrested in 1947, the two hunters confessed before retracting. They then never ceased to proclaim their innocence, claiming to have been forced to sign confessions in police custody under torture.
“We can see all the emotion that the Mis et Thiennot affair still arouses today”, noted LR rapporteur Agnès Canayer. “It’s a very important moment”, added the socialist Jean-Pierre Sueur, while the president of the Communist-majority CRCE group Eliane Assassi welcomed an amendment “Very accurate”.
“This amendment represents for us an important step towards revision”, was delighted with Agence France-Presse Léandre Boizeau, honorary president of the support committee Mis et Thiennot, which defends the rehabilitation of the two men.
In 2015, the criminal conviction review court rejected the sixth request for review of the case, brought by the families of the two men and supported by a number of local elected officials.
Often cited in legal annals, this case has mobilized for decades hundreds of supporters, who are fighting to obtain the rehabilitation of the two men, now deceased.