four natural and legal persons will be tried for “homicide and involuntary injuries”

In the referral order, consulted by France Inter, the investigating magistrates point out in particular the absence of work, maintenance or even serious diagnosis in the buildings which collapsed in 2018, causing eight deaths.



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63 and 65 rue d'Aubagne, in Marseille, where the collapse of the two buildings killed eight people in 2018. (CARINE SCHMITT / HANS LUCAS)

Four natural and legal persons are referred to a criminal court for “homicides and involuntary injuries”, in accordance with the prosecution’s requisitions, in the case of the collapse of two unsanitary buildings on rue d’Aubagne in Marseille in 2018, which caused eight dead, according to the referral order consulted by France Inter Saturday April 20. The trial will be held from November 7 to December 18, France Bleu Provence learned from lawyers of the civil parties.

In this order of more than 300 pages, the investigating magistrates refer two individuals to the criminal court: Julien Ruas, deputy mayor responsible for prevention and risk management, when the city was still led by Jean-Claude Gaudin (LR), and Richard Carta, the expert architect who had inspected the building at 65 rue d’Aubagne, where the eight victims lived, on October 18, 2018, barely three weeks before the tragedy.

Two legal entities are also referred to the court: Marseille Habitat, a mixed economy company from the city of Marseille which owns 63 rue d’Aubagne, an empty but totally dilapidated building which collapsed at the same time as 65, and the Liautard firm, the co-ownership trustee responsible for the management of 65.

A building in a “state of ruin”

In this order, the investigating magistrates point out the absence of work, the absence of maintenance and serious diagnoses. For example, they say to themselves “amazed” by “the state of ruin” in which Marseille Habitat abandoned the building number 63. For the building number 65, the judges appoint a condominium trustee “too concerned about his money”.

As for the deputy mayor in charge of substandard housing, he never committed the four million euros of budget which should have been devoted to urgent work, without us knowing where it went this money, the magistrates point out in passing.

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