the murder which still strikes France – .

the murder which still strikes France – .

But Mr Raddad said he was innocent and had no reason to kill Ms Marchal, who had treated him well. His supporters argue that Ms Marchal’s real killer was able to prop the bed up against the door as she left the basement and wrote the messages to avoid detection while framing the gardener.

An empty purse was not proof of theft, they said, and no jewelry or other valuables were missing. More importantly, neither Mr. Raddad’s DNA nor his fingerprints were found at the crime scene.

In 2015, a new DNA technology made it possible to discover the traces of four unknown men on the spot. An expert for Mr Raddad later identified the presence of 35 traces of DNA from an unknown man which were mixed with the second message written in the victim’s blood, said Ms Noachovitch, lawyer for Mr Raddad.

“This DNA must belong to the killer,” Ms. Noachovich said, arguing that it was highly unlikely to come from investigators or others who contaminated the scene.

Ms du Granrut, the victim’s niece, said she believed the evidence was treated less carefully three decades ago and that the new DNA was contamination from an unrelated source.

Immediately after Mr Raddad’s conviction in 1994, some of the themes that had been raised in the background in court came to light. His lawyer at the time, Jacques Vergès, who became famous for having embraced anti-colonial causes, spoke of the Dreyfus affair. As the Jewish officer wrongly convicted because of his religion, the gardener’s only wrong was to be Arab, the lawyer said.

Inspired by Émile Zola’s defense of Captain Dreyfus, Jean-Marie Rouart, a novelist, formed a group to support Mr. Raddad and wrote a book, “Omar, the making of a culprit”.


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