Incidents at Olympique de Marseille: 12 supporters convicted, two released

At the end of a day of trial during which they tried to justify themselves, 12 OM supporters were sentenced for the violent incidents that occurred at the Commanderie at the end of January and two were released.

Eleven of these young men received a six-month suspended prison sentence and a 12e, who had already been convicted of theft, was sentenced to three months suitable for conversion. Given their sentences, the four who appeared in detention on Wednesday were due to be released that evening, and made no secret of their relief after more than three weeks in prison.

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These sentences are slightly more lenient than the requisitions of the prosecutor André Ribes who had requested 4 months firm for the accused having already been sentenced and 8 months suspended for all the others. “When you do that, you are no longer supporters”, had castigated the magistrate for whom the arrival “Concerted” demonstrators at the Commanderie on January 30 left “To think that the demonstration (could) only degenerate”.

87,000 euros in damage

A few hours before the OM meeting against Rennes, which will finally be postponed, some 300 supporters had arrived at the Commanderie, most of them dressed in black, hoods over their heads. In the viewfinder of the fans, heated by a succession of disappointing sporting results: players, but especially the president of the club Jacques-Henri Eyraud, contested for several months already.

Incidents broke out quickly, in front of the training center, but also inside, where a few dozen supporters managed to enter. Offices are degraded, like vehicles, gates or fences. Seven police officers are slightly injured. The club has estimated the cost of damage to at least 87,000 euros, according to one of its lawyers. The question of 140,000 euros in moral damage claimed by OM was referred Wednesday to June 25 by the president of the tribunal.

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Aged 19 to 37, the 14 supporters from all over France, and not just Marseille, faced five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros. For hours, they tried to justify themselves Wednesday in a series of deaf dialogues with the president. “I didn’t think it was going to degenerate so much, I followed stupidly, like a donkey”, assured Mehdy, a 25-year-old unemployed in blue fleece who admits having taken part in the demonstration but denies any degradation.

“I was overwhelmed by my passion”

Denis, a 37-year-old temporary worker, came especially that Saturday from Montceau-les-Mines. He had been in prison ever since. “Why did you wear glasses, a hood and dress in black?” “, asked the president. “I was not one of the leaders, I saw the possibility of starting a dialogue with the leaders”, retorted this ” lover “ of OM.

It’s hard to know who did what. One was seen by police throwing stones but claimed to have “Nothing launched”. Another, arrested only ten minutes after the beginning of the facts, assures to be ” closed off “ as soon as the situation escalated. This deputy director of a grocery store, member of the Marseille Ultras, convinced the court, which released him.

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Only one, the youngest, Romain, 19, living in a chic district of Marseille, recognizes the facts, in particular the degradation of an unmarked police vehicle. “I was overwhelmed by my passion”, explains the boy, shoulder-length hair, white shirt.

“Fools” more than “thugs”

Defense lawyers had called for acquittals for lack of material evidence against their clients. “I have more, in front of me, the class photo of fools than of thugs”, argued Me Ludovic Para, believing that he was missing today “The big fish”.

Five other supporters, arrested ten days after the incident, must also be tried on March 22, including the head of Ultras (CU84).

Around the club, the pressure has not abated since these incidents: the six groups of supporters have again jointly requested the departure of Jacques-Henri Eyraud a few days ago. The management of the club, it threatened to break the convention which binds them to them.

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