10:50 am – An upcoming debate on Zepeda’s detention conditions
Advocate General Etienne Manteaux, representing the prosecution, speaks before the selected jury is sworn in. He wants the investigation to be carried out after thea recent complaint by Nicolas Zepeda about the conditions of detention in Besançon and possible ill-treatment, which he denounces. Immediate intervention by Me Laffont, Zepeda’s attorney. “We only filed this complaint because we took note of the prison director’s report, which we thought would be useful to comment on,” the defense attorney said. The subject will be discussed later.
10:45 am – Join us in the courtroom
In a jury, everyone must have a clearly defined role, from the popular jury to the accused, including civil party attorneys, defense counsel, or the prosecuting attorney general. For the Nicolas Zepeda trial, we explain who is who and who does what:
10:15am – Nicolas Zepeda reveals his identity before the jury draws lots
At the President’s invitation, Nicolas Zepeda stands up and speaks in Spanish to indicate his identity and address. His words are translated in real time by an interpreter. The jury will now draw the six jurors appointed to form the jury.
10 am. – The trial of Nicolas Zepeda is open
The President of the Court, Mathieu Husson, has just officially opened the trial. Nicolas Zepeda entered the dock a few minutes earlier with his escort. Dressed in a light blue shirt, he seems quite comfortable. He has just removed his mask to discuss freely with his lawyers. In front of him, a few meters away, are Narumi’s mother and sister. Let’s go on probation for at least two weeks.
Accused of murdering Narumi, which he denies, Nicolas Zepeda faces a life sentence.
9:50 am – “I feel like seeing Narumi again…”
The courtroom is full, full of juries. Only six will be selected this morning to form the jury, along with the President of the Court and his two assessors.
All witnesses cited in the trial are also present. Among them Jérémie Bride, a professor at Tsukuba University, who knew the Narumi Kurosaki-Nicolas Zepeda couple well. “It’s crazy how Narumi’s sister looks like her. I feel like seeing Narumi again, it’s really weird”…
9:45 a.m. – Until the opening of the hearing at 10:00 a.m
To better understand what’s at stake in the process, re-read some of the articles we’ve published over the past few days: our account of Narumi Kurosaki’s bedroom, still intact five years later; the process and investigation in 10 questions; Who are the protagonists of the process?
9:30 am – Forty different accredited media
The opening of the trial mobilized around sixty journalists on Tuesday morning. The French press is of course represented, but the international dimension of the affair is also reflected in the presence of numerous Japanese and Chilean media. In addition to the main courtroom, two other broadcasting rooms equipped with large screens and sound systems were opened to the press and the general public.
Some images of the courtroom before the protagonists’ arrival
9 am. – The arrival of the family of Nicolas Zepeda
It’s the turn of Nicolas Zepeda’s parents to present themselves with closed faces at the courthouse. Both are coming from Santiago this afternoon to support their son. When asked by L’Est Républicain, Humberto Zepeda said he had “absolute confidence” in his son’s version. He also declares “compassion” with the plight of Narumi Kurosaki’s family.
8:45 am – Narumi’s mother and sister in tears
Narumi’s mother and younger sister, Taeko and Kurumi are there. Assisted by their attorney, Me Galley, the two women peered into the still-empty courtroom. An extremely difficult moment emotionally. Taeko Kurosaki, in particular, remained on the floor for a long time, his face against a wall of the room. Before being escorted discreetly out of sight while he awaits the hearing to begin.
8:20 am – The lawyers arrive on site
Me Randall Schwerdorffer is the first to show up this Tuesday morning. The lawyer defends the interests of Arthur d’El Piccolo, Narumi’s French friend at the time of her disappearance. The young man is a civil party.
Me Jacqueline Laffont for defense and Me Galley for Narumi’s family also arrived.
7:50 a.m. – Nicolas Zepeda leaves the Besançon detention center towards the courthouse
The Chilean left the pre-trial detention center at 7.50am and arrived at the courthouse minutes later in a white van with tinted windows, escorted by motorcyclists from the national police. The road was temporarily closed at the entrance. Five years later, he is said to have been “determined” to explain himself in court.
7:45 a.m. – A first for the family of Narumi
This first day of the trial promises to be inevitably tiring for those close to Narumi, who will be meeting Nicolas Zepeda’s gaze for the first time since the student’s sudden disappearance. A moment they dread.
Narumi’s mother, Taeko, and one of her two sisters, Kurumi, arrived from Japan this weekend. Both went to the La Bouloie campus on Sunday, where their daughter, their sister, disappeared more than five years ago. your biggest wish? Her lawyer tells Me Galley that we finally find his body for a burial in Japan.
7:15 am – The program of the day
The hearing will be declared open at 10 a.m., after the reception and listing of witnesses and popular jury beginning at 9 a.m. The call for witnesses and experts is scheduled at 10.30 a.m., before the President’s report at 11.15 a.m. when Nicolas Zepeda is able to speak.
The afternoon is devoted to the personality of the accused. Parents and relatives will be heard from 2 p.m. before the personality questioning of the accused will take place at 5:30 p.m.
7:10 a.m. – Start of the two-week trial
The trial of Nicolas Zepeda begins this morning. The start of two weeks of tense hearings, set to begin on the 12th. Between now and then, some highlights are expected, beginning with the defendant’s personality questioning this afternoon.
Wednesday, March 30th, is dedicated to the investigation, Thursday, April 1st, to the first summary questioning of the accused on the facts. The hearings of witnesses will then follow one another until the expected testimony of Narumi’s French friend at the time of her disappearance, Arthur del Piccolo, on April 6th. On the same day, Narumi’s mother and sister, who arrived in Besançon this weekend, must also testify. On April 7th, the Psy Expert examining Zepeda will take place.
Unless the program changes, the pleadings will take place on Monday, April 11th Deliberations Tuesday, April 12.
7 hrs Time for Zepeda’s trial, after five years of waiting
More than five years after the disappearance of Narumi Kurosaki, the trial of Nicolas Zepeda finally opens in Besançon. The Japanese student’s ex-boyfriend is charged with murder, a crime he vehemently denies. Despite an intensive search, Narumi’s body remains untraceable, but police have gathered several troubling elements about the Chileans.
The showdown between the prosecution and the defense looks tense in front of the Assize Court in Doubs. If convicted, Nicolas Zepeda faces life imprisonment.
The Republican East proposes to let you live this extraordinary process during these two weeks of hearing.
The five episodes of our podcast are dedicated to the case