In France, judges have ordered the reopening of an enduring murder mystery

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PARIS Moroccan gardener Omar Radat, who was convicted of the brutal murder of a French socialist three decades ago, won Thursday in his attempt to reconsider the case, reopening a new chapter in France’s most enduring murder mysteries.

Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal of France, Mr. Radot’s lawyers decided to reopen the case after presenting new DNA evidence that would free him from the 1991 murder of his boss, Gisline Marcel, at his villa in Cte d’Azur in southern France. Murder by grammar error is popular.

Following a three-page judgment, the court ordered that new DNA evidence be analyzed. Mr. This is the first step in convincing Radot’s supporters to rehearse his initial trial, 27 years after he was sentenced.

Although legal reforms in 2014 made it easier for lawyers to argue for rehearsal, it is very rare for this French court to reopen a case. In 2002, based on new evidence and previous DNA evidence, Mr. The court rejected an earlier request for a review of Radot’s case.

“The reopening of a case that closed in 2002 is unbelievable and hopeless,” he said. Radat’s lawyer, Sylvie Nochovich, said in an interview after the verdict. “For Umar Radat, this is a great pleasure.”

The victim’s family opposed the reopening of the case and Mr. Radha is believed to be guilty. In a statement, the family said they hoped the new investigation would “bring a definitive end to a case of suffering.”

In a brief telephone interview, Sabine du Granrut, the victim’s daughter-in-law and a lawyer, warned against overestimating the significance of the court’s verdict, saying that asking for more information was too little to agree to rehearse the trial.

“For now, it opens a small door halfway,” Ms Du Groot said.

The 59-year-old Mr. Radot has always maintained his innocence in a crime that has long silenced France.

In 1994, Mr. Mrs. Radha. Marcel was sentenced to 18 years in prison for murder, his body found in the basement of his villa, the only door locked from the outside, but blocked from the inside. Inside the locked room, a message was scrolled through a door, written in the victim’s own blood and the victim wrote in his last moments: “Omar m’a Tuer” or “Omar killed me.”

But there was a grammatical error in the message it must have been “m’a tuée” which raised questions not only about the particular crime, but also about class and language in France. In a country where proper knowledge of the language has long been a sign of good upbringing, can a woman of her social status make such a small mistake?

Her family and lawyers said she had a history of making similar mistakes. According to them, Ms. found her body with multiple injuries and cuts. Marcel found the strength to condemn his own murderer in the last minutes of his life by writing that message “Omar m’a t” which was left incomplete.

Mr. Radot’s lawyers and supporters have long argued that he was structured. The real killer wrote the messages using the victim’s blood to avoid being detected by diverting the gardener’s attention.

Mr. Radot’s DNA and his fingerprints were not found at the crime scene.

Instead, in 2015, thanks to advances in DNA technology, traces of four unknown humans were found at the scene. He said there were 35 DNA traces from an unknown man mixed with a second incomplete message written in the victim’s blood. Radot’s expert later found out.

Mr. To Radot’s supporters, DNA traces, Mr. Were left by the real killer who built the rat. But the victim’s daughter in law, Ms Du Groot, argued that the evidence had been handled with care less than three decades ago and that the DNA traces had been contaminated from an unrelated source.

The two sides clashed over possible motives.

They said there was a gambling problem. Prosecutors say Radat killed his employer in anger because he refused to pay his salary in advance. His supporters say he got along well with Ms. Marshall and had no reason to kill him.

In 1994, Mr. After Radhad was convicted, his lawyer said his client had been wrongly convicted because he was an Arab. Prominent intellectuals, led by Jean-Marie Rouard, a novelist and longtime member of the French Academy, took up his cause.

“Injustice is happening all over the world,” he said. Rovert said in an interview after the verdict. “But it is very sad when this happens in France. It is considered a land of justice, thanks to Montesquieu. I hope justice will be done now.”

Mr. Radot became the case The symbol of the failure of justice in popular imagination.

The case received serious attention after a few years in prison due to the personal intervention of King Hassan II of Morocco. Radhad was released. The then President of France, Jacques Chirac, in 1996 Mr. Radot offered a partial apology, but the gardener was not spared from the murder.

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