...Continued from page 1

The third trial began on Monday, 8. April of this year, and ended with his acquittal on Wednesday.

In the new trial, the attorney general, whophoto: headline, bottez utile, canard enchaine expressed personal doubt, asked the jury not for a penalty, not for conviction, nor for acquittal. The jury, composed of eight women and six men - three of whom were magistrates - decided there was doubt enough for acquittal.

Asked about it later, an attorney general at Paris' court of appeals said that an acquittal did not necessarily mean somebody was innocent.

The protesters know France has a collection of revolutions.

He also said that this case demonstrated the difficulty of a procedure that depends on confessions somewhat more than the willingness to find other proof. "The confession is no longer the 'Queen' of proof," he added.

The attorney general for Dils' third trial, while not insisting on anything, more or less said Dils was 'guilty' of making 'confessions' that allowed the real killer to remain free.

At the time of the crime, Dils' parents said he left the house for either five minutes, or 15 minutes, making a difference of 10 minutes. Investigators endlessly interrogated Dils about this, while preventing visits from his parents for 22 months.

Patrick Dils was initially arrested seven months after the double murders when he was 17. Under intense interrogation he eventually cracked and made a confession, then made others. He claimed these were forced from him, and that he was coached by his interrogators.

What didn't help during his trials was that he had a 'poor presence' in court. in France trials can be emotional affairs, with the families of victims taking part as witnesses - even if not as material or eye-witnesses. Dils' seemed incapable of 'acting' innocent.

What introduced doubt to the case was the statement by a six-time convicted serial killer, Francis Heaulme, that he came upon the bodies of the two murdered children before they were discovered by searchers.

He has retracted this statement more than once, but with Dils' acquittal he is likely to be charged with the crime.

Tomorrow Patrick Dils starts a new - his first - life in Paris, with a job at a printing plant in Montreuil. His lawyers will be seeking compensation under article 626 of the criminal procedure code, which allows the innocent to claim indemnification for errors of justice.

The huge claim that is likely to be made, in a case that Le Parisien has compared to the injustice done to Dreyfus, may be reduced by a judge if he is convinced that Dils made his confessions in order to thwart justice.

The American Library Loves Alice B. Toklas

On Friday I received an invitation to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Alice B. Toklas at the American Library in Paris. This event takes place this evening - when I'm supposed to finish this column. I will not get anything to eat tonight inspired by the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.

Apparently the library is threatened by a 'catastrophe' - the ALP's Trustees are examining a mergerphoto: protesters at bastille with a local university. I have been unable to learn the details of this, but more information about the crises may be on the American Library's Web site, which has its link below.

The 'alert' does say, 'the library of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, Richard Wright - and so many others - may soon disappear.'

More signs, slogans, posters, paper headlines.

The American Library Association established the Library War Service in 1917, for the purpose of sending books to France for the use of US troops during WWI. In 1920, with community support and the 30,000 books left over from the original service, The American Library Association founded the American Library in Paris, at 10. Rue de l'Elysée.

The library has been in difficulty before. In 1936 it had to move its 60,000-book collection to a new location. French libraries were closed in 1939, and Parisians began to use the American library which was still open. The library continued until closed down by the war in 1941, then reopened again in 1948.

Sylvia Beach closed her Shakespeare & Co. in 1951 and donated its circulating library to the American Library. Two years later the library moved to a choice location on the Champs-Elysées, only to find Senator McCarthy's investigators Roy Cohn and David Schine on its doorstep a year later to look for subversive literature. They did not get library cards.

In the '60s and '70s patrons included Richard Wright, Irwin Shaw, William Styron, and Mary McCarthy. When the Drugstore landed on the Champs-Elysées in 1964, the library moved its present location.

Now the library is threatened again and needs your help. You can contact the non-profit aid committee, which also has a Web site called AidALP.

Check out the web site of the American Library in Paris, located at 10. Rue du Général-Camou, Paris 7. Métro: Ecole-Militaire. InfoTel.: 01 53 59 12 61. You can also send email for the library to alparis@noos.fr.

Spring Weather Alerts

France, a pleasant and green place, does have weather that might be dangerous to your health - or on a lesser scale, cause you some serious discomfort if you happen to be in a more remote place than Paris.

Weather warnings are provided by a service from our friends at France-Météo. Youphoto: manif at bastille are supposed to use this service before you get into ugly situations because using it afterwards will not help you at all.

At Bastille, the rain, and the march only halfway over.

Paris is not an exciting weather area. The alert service is mainly for northern, central, mountainous, eastern, western Atlantic coast, all types of southern and offshore areas of France - that occasionally or regularly have more extreme weather than the Ile-de-France region.

If you are curious or want to know more about France's so-called spring weather, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. Check out the warning-prone 'Vigilance-Météo' area on the opening page.

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