Chartres prosecutor Rémi Coutin, leaving for Eure, looks back on his seven years of practice

Appreciated in particular by the police and the gendarmes, the public prosecutor of Chartres, Rémi Coutin, 48, spoke of the judicial news of the department, before his departure and his replacement by Frédérique Chevallier, from Blois (Loir-et- Expensive).

Why this choice of Évreux?

Chartres is ranked 52nd court in France out of 164, Évreux is 27th. I will go from eight magistrates here, soon to be nine, to thirteen. Eure is a department with 600,000 inhabitants, with a third more annual procedures than in Eure-et-Loir and similar delinquency. This choice is also family because my children continue their studies here and my wife is a magistrate in Versailles.
n How do you explain so much violence in society? I am shocked by the disregard for human life and the lack of empathy for the victims. The phenomenon has amplified since the end of confinement, in the field of intra-family violence, settling of accounts against a background of drugs, various, villainous attacks…

The judicial city did not see the light of day in Chartres.

I am disappointed, because I worked for three years on this real estate project, the extension of the premises. The new site chosen, the prison, is ideal, because the current situation of the courthouse, in three different buildings, is complicated.

Drugs in Eure-et-Loir remain a scourge.

I haven’t stopped seeing major files for seven years, with go fasts at 579 kg (2017), 560 kg (2018), 434 kg (2018), 360 kg (2019), 262 kg (2021) … The financial stakes are very important. The Drouais sector remains heavily impacted by international traffic, with supplies in the Paris region and the far west. The monthly arrival of narcotics can be estimated at more than a ton. Cannabis culture is also developing while cocaine and heroin are rare. There is a lot of international hypocrisy, because we know that the drugs come from Morocco. To be effective on the transfer of cargoes, it would also be necessary to work more at the borders. I also wonder about the value of work, discredited by those who are paid throughout the chain of networks, starting with the 8-year-old boy watching. There is also an education problem.

I had no pressure or intervention to manage

Criminal assets have been leveraged against criminals.

16 million euros in three years! The confiscation of assets (cars, buildings, businesses, boats) and bank seizures are essential. It weakens the criminals. Today, lawyers fight more to avoid the confiscation of assets than for the prison sentences of their clients. I introduced this culture of heritage research to investigators, on the sidelines of other traditional investigations. We are also trying to attribute the vehicles seized to the police, the gendarmerie, and recently to the courts.

What were the notable cases?

I am amazed by the diversity of the files. I am thinking of the body cut up at Autels-Villevillon, the dentist killed during a sex game in Coulombs, the two babies abandoned, one in a pick-up in Perche, the other behind a hedge in Mainvilliers. I am also thinking of the Dentexelans file (dentist’s office in Chartres), the murder of the doctor who was stabbed forty-eight times in Nogent-le-Rotrou, the drama at the town hall of Dreux, the feminicides… But the most extraordinary file, mysterious at the start, it is the death of the two men in the middle of a meal in Authon-du-Perche. One died of suffocation, the other of heart failure related to the emotion of the scene.

Two young people died. Such a waste !

And the pressure on the files of elected officials and personalities?

I had no pressure or intervention to manage on the affairs of the mayors of Champhol, Lèves and Luisant, nor for Dieudonné. On the other hand, I informed my superiors about sensitive investigations. You just had to be serious, because the credibility of my prosecution depends on it. I was lucky to have quality colleagues. The choice of investigation service is also fundamental. You need experienced specialists.

The robbery in court was a difficult time…

We realized the shortcomings. New security systems have been put in place. The theft of the drugs was quickly elucidated after a heavy atmosphere in the court, because it was not known who was involved.

Theft of 30 kg of drugs at the Chartres court: two new suspects arrested.

The thieves of 30 kg of drugs in the court of Chartres were sentenced to prison

Rodeos and refusals to comply become recurring business

We are very strict on these facts, in particular with the seizure of gear and presentations before a judge. The same goes for urban violence and violence against security forces. In Eure-et-Loir, there is no lawless zone, we patrol and we intervene.

Urban violence in Chartres: the police patrol the night in the Madeleine district

You had difficulty finding a medical examiner and a psychiatrist.

We are heading straight for disaster because we no longer have a psychiatrist expert. I had recruited one, because it is necessary in certain legal cases, but he is leaving. There will be an impact on case processing times. The medical desert also concerns the medical examiner that we no longer have. On the positive side, I created the medico-judicial unit of which I am proud.

Where are your two cold case files?

The death of a Chartres artist in Croatia is not a homicide. In the case concerning the person who died falling from a car in Mainvilliers, the file is not closed. We can also mention the horse attacks, in France and in Eure-et-Loir, which stopped suddenly.

Investigation into the mysterious death of an artist from Chartres in Croatia

What is your analysis of the fights between gangs in the Chartres urban area?

Two young people died. Such a waste ! Eure-et-Loir, a peaceful department, is also a reflection of society. We have put in place great means of prevention, but we are unable to control these conflicts, linked to futile reasons, and I am not optimistic for the future.

The judicial police in France, including that of Dreux created four years ago, are in danger of disappearing.

This reform scheduled for the end of the year is a disaster. We mentioned it during the conference of prosecutors. The PJ is essential, particularly in the investigation of major legal cases, including those related to narcotics. The public prosecutor’s offices will no longer be able to seize these services in sensitive investigations, which often require confidentiality, experience and long-term investigations. These disappearances run counter to the objectives of crime prevention policies.

Interview : Thierry Delaunay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.