Although some rumors on the death of reporter Gilles Jacquier have been filtering through the France-based media and Paris prosecutors have opened a murder investigation, one particular element of this case needs to be highlighted.
Indeed, contrary to international legal standards, the autopsy of the victim did not take place in Syria, where it would have been quite possible for France to appoint its own medical examiner to oversee the procedure. Instead, France put the body on a special flight to Paris and carried out the autopsy on arrival, thus depriving Syria of the possibility to arrange for the presence of its own expert.
While the Governor of Homs announced on 2 January the appointment of a commission of inquiry to shed light on the circumstances of the incident, the Syrian government has now been stripped of its right to independently determine the causes of the reporter’s death.
In criminal law, the act that France has engaged in of repatriating the body of France-Télévisions journalist Gilles Jacquier is qualified as a misappropriation of a body. The circumstances of the repatriation and autopsy of the journalist’s remains constitute an attempt by France to destroy, alter and deteriorate the evidence.
Moreover, the irregular behavior of the French executive will necessarily lead the Judicial branch to declare the autopsy report null and void. In so doing, it will make it impossible for the truth to come to light.
Beyond the blatant intention of the current French Government to systematically exploit the unfolding events against the Syrian state, these details raise a deeper question. What is France trying to hide about the death of our colleague from France 2?