Papon On the Lam

photo: bistr specialities francaises

With all the 'ethnic' eateries in the Rue de la Huchette, one called 'Specialities Françaises' is a surprise.

Perifreak! Goes Crazy

Paris:- Sunday, 24. October 1999:- Maurice Papon had a final date with justice last week, and he bungled it - to become the week's lead story.

Maurice Papon was a sub-top-level functionary of Vichy during WWII. After 18 years of legal proceedings, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to a ten-year term in jail. The last report about this man appeared in Metropole in April of 1998.

Mr. Papon appealed his conviction and was scheduled to appear last Friday at the Cour de Cassation - which is France's final court - which only examines the Constitutional aspects of a case.

A lot of people were upset that Maurice Papon was at liberty between the time of his conviction and his final court date. According to custom, he was supposedphoto: rue de la huchette to surrender to justice authorities on Thursday night.

Instead of doing this, the 89-year-old man fled. An International arrest warrant was immediately issued, launching a world-wide search for the fugitive.

The Rue de la Huchette in the rain.

Also, by fleeing, Papon automatically canceled his last appeal chance; the Cour de Cassation will not consider the case of anyone who skips; and the sentence stands as it was - ten years in prison. This man is well and truly convicted of crimes against humanity for his wartime role involving the deportation of French citizens - mostly Jewish - to the Nazi's extermination camps.

Reaction in France was immediate. First disbelief, then nearly universal anger. While a minority believed that he was too old to go to prison, most seemed to think that flight was a cowardly act.

Others questioned the legal process; requiring TV's talking heads and the newspapers to explain France's judicial procedures. Bernard Tapie, for example, surrendered himself and lost the final appeal - and served his allotted time.

The Cour de Cassation might have found some obscure loophole, some little Constitutional fault - any excuse not to put a person this age in jail. But there is no chance for this now.

Less than an hour after issuing the International arrest warrant, police investigators had traced him to where he was registered as Robert de Rochefoucauld at the Posthotel Rössli near Gstaad in Switzerland.

The Swiss police were immediately informed and 90 minutes later they detained the fugitive. Due to Papon havingphoto: snack cafe 'istanbul' stayed in Switzerland earlier in October, there was already an expulsion order - so neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Justice had to pressure the Swiss for the return of the escapee.

Even in the rain customers wait for near-east fast food.

After hustling him to the frontier Papon was picked up by a waiting police helicopter on the French side, and he was placed in a prepared cell in Fresnes near Paris - only slightly more than 24 hours after skipping out of the country.

For today's edition of Le Parisien, there is a boxed front-page headline, directing the reader to 'Papon's First Day In Prison,' on page 15. Most of the front page is devoted to France's chances with the World Rugby Championship.

Before today, Maurice Papon has spent exactly two days in jail; at the beginning of his most recent trail in October 1997. France's team beat Argentina in Dublin in the quarter-finals.

Angry Firemen Turn Perifreak! Into Madness

Around 15:00 on Thursday, angry firemen - pompiers - blocked the Perifreak! in the area of the Porte de Clichy. This caused one of Paris' all-time-record traffic jams.

Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini