After 14 hours of deliberation, the king of afro-trap MHD, whose real name is Mohamed Sylla, was sentenced this Saturday evening to 12 years of criminal imprisonment for the murder of a 23-year-old during a brawl fatal in the summer of 2018, in Paris.
Five of his co-defendants, who were tried alongside him for this murder, were also sentenced to sentences ranging from 10 to 18 years in prison. Three other men were acquitted.
The prosecution and the defense now have 10 days to file an appeal.
On the night of July 5 to 6, 2018, Loïk K., a young man from the town of Grange-aux-Belles (19th arrondissement), was knocked down by a Mercedes belonging to Mohamed Sylla, then beaten and stabbed to death by around ten people. hooded individuals. The car was found the next day set on fire in a parking lot. The perpetrators belonged to the city of Chaufourniers, a rival district with which clashes, increasingly bloody, are continuous.
The trial, which opened five years later, highlighted all the weaknesses of the investigation. To identify each participant, investigators relied heavily on videos of the crime scene, two filmed by CCTV cameras and a third by a witness from his balcony. But these sequences, filmed at night and from a distance, leave serious doubts about the reliability of the identification. A sign of the weaknesses of the case, one of the accused was thus exonerated by a police officer in court, an extremely rare occurrence: “We do not have enough evidence against Wissem E. For us, he is not in this case ". For its part, the defense has continued to denounce a real “judicial fiasco”, with a case based solely on rumor: “You are on very slippery legal ground which is built from a rumor”, thus castigated Me Elise Arfi, the rapper's lawyer.
Because the affair is subject to the terrible law of silence which keeps these gangs of young people from the neighborhoods. All the accused denied having participated in the murder, but some admitted to knowing the real perpetrators. Except that none were willing to give names: “Throughout the case, you know very well what is happening and what people can incur. I have no privileges,” admitted Mohamed Sylla during his interrogation. Submission to the law of silence is accompanied by pressure and threats which leave any attempt to obtain the truth in vain: “Concretely, I was asked to keep my mouth shut about this matter”, confided Wissem E. Par Fearing reprisals, almost all of the prosecution witnesses did not appear when summoned by the Paris Assize Court.
On Thursday, the attorney general requested two acquittals and sentences of 13 to 20 years in prison against the seven other defendants, including 18 years of criminal imprisonment for the rapper. During the last words of the accused this morning, Mohamed Sylla again denied having participated in this bloody lynching: “From the beginning, I have proclaimed my innocence in this story and I will continue to proclaim my innocence,” he said. he warned, while many fans gathered on the public benches.
At the end of three weeks of hearing, this verdict leaves a bitter taste for the victim's family who asked “that those who know speak, that the truth comes forward, that justice be done”. Enough to take up the question of the president, powerless in the face of the weight of silence in this matter: “Is there room for the truth today in this courtroom?”