...Continued from page 1

When Mr. Papon insisted, yet again, that he is the victim - in effect complaining that only he is on trial - the attorney general asked the accused to stop insulting the victims and the judges.

A moral witness for the defense stated that whoever delegated their signature to a subordinate, remained responsible for the use of the signature, and added that, "Mr. Papon n'etait responsable de rein."

One of the civil attorneys, Mr. Favreau, remarked that this particular witness was employed by the prefecture after the war, when Mr. Papon was no longer there.

The trial continues next Wednesday.

Web sites devoted to the History and Trial of Maurice Papon

The Matisson family were the first to launch a civil case against Maurice Papon, in 1981. Jean-Marie Matisson runs the website, and reports from the courtroom. At the website, click on 'Affaire Papon.'

Another website of interest contains daily coverage of the trial by the Bordeaux paper, the Sud Ouest.

Mercedes 'A'-Klasse Goes to 'Z'

Mercedes' chances of winning the 'European Car of the Year' award for its new 'A'-Klasse model seem to be receding into the gloom as more reports emerge Mercedes A-Klasse about the driving instability of the newly-launched car.

The 'A'-Klasse was to have been Mercedes' pioneer effort to break into the European mass-car market, a field which already has many strong challengers with lots of experience.

And here it is; the 'A'-Klasse Mercedes. Car of the Year?

The sums spent on designing a new car from the ground up, and the costs involved in building a new factory exclusively to manufacture it, were astronomical.

Last week I wrote, "Imagine then, four journalists for the Swedish technical magazine 'Teknikens Väld' whipping it through a shalom course set up on the airfield at Bromma, at 60 kph."

"Then imagine the whole little thing falling on its side, and one of the journalists inside is on the jury that makes the selection for the 'European Car of the Year' award."

That was bad enough, but now imagine every automotive journalist in Europe getting his hands on a 'A'-Klasse car and trying out the same thing. When Springer's 'Auto-Zeitung' tried it, they forgot to load the cameras for the perfectly-timed 'flop,' and they had to do it over again - with a little help - just for the photo.

Apparently, the gazillions of DMs spent on research and development resulted in a car that can withstand a 65 kph three quarter frontal head-on collision, but which has a nickel-and-dime rear suspension. In curves, the rear wheels do not stay on the road.

The test seems to be called the 'moose-test' by Scandinavian journalists. You imagine you are whipping along a graveled country road in Sweden, going about 120 kph, and a moose decides to cross the road...

Actually, this is an event which happens all the time in everyday urban traffic. If your car falls on its side while going 55 kph when you have to swerve to avoid a school bus coming out of a side street, then you have a set of wheels with problems.

With a seat-belt on, you probably will suffer no more than scratches - but then, if you had had a competitor's model, it wouldn't be lying on its side and you would still be going where you intended.

European Car of the Year Award Proposal

Far be it from me to kick Mercedes when they are down - they already make more money than any other car manufacturer in the world - but I want to vote for the Alfa 156 as the best looking 'New European Car of 1997' - as I suggested last week.

This week I offer proof - a photo. Looks Alfa 156 slick, doesn't it? Available with 16-valve fours, a V-six, and turbo-diesel mills.

Or is this new Alfa 156 'The Car of the Year' for 1997?

This mention is not intended for normal non-car-crazed readers, but for those of you who may be Japanese automobile designers. See the new Alfa? Look at it closely; because this is the next one you will be slated to copy.

A good thing too, since the nineties will be known as the ugly-car decade - if somebody doesn't follow Alfa's lead quickly.

Sports News: Boxing in Las Vegas

Sunday Update:- Ten months after missing out on a WBC mid-heavyweight championship, French boxer Fabrice Tiozzo, 28, won a decisive victory over Nate Miller, defending the title for the fifth time.

Miller, 34, was rated a four to one favorite over Tiozzo before the match; lost on points. Out of 36 fights, Tiozzo has lost only one and won 23 with KO's. Miller's score esplanade is now 27 victories out of 31 fights.

Tiozzo will get a modest purse of $100,000, but may have a chance to go after the current WBC middleweight champion, Roy Jones.

Not a boxing ring, not a skating rink; but a fraction of La Défense's Esplanade.

Regular readers will know I am not a particular Sports Fan and will understand when I say I don't know what 'mi-lourd' or 'lourd-léger' are. Tiozzo went to a higher weight category to beat Miller, and apparently Roy Jones is current champion of 'mi-lourds,' but should fight in a higher category too; but promoter Don King has other plans, maybe.


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