Suicide of a magistrate in 2012: confirmation on appeal of the dismissal in the investigation for “harassment”

The Versailles Court of Appeal recently confirmed the dismissal of the investigation for “manslaughter” and “moral harassment“Which was opened after the suicide in 2012 of a magistrate of the public prosecutor’s office of Nanterre, according to a judgment consulted Thursday, December 30 by AFP. In this case, the high magistrate Philippe Courroye, now Advocate General at the Paris Court of Appeal, had been placed under the status of assisted witness in 2018. He was the hierarchical superior of Lionel Beauvais when he had been found dead.

Following the dismissal rendered on December 4, 2020, the companion of Lionel Beauvais had appealed and asked for the indictment of Philippe Courroye, a request rejected by the court. “I strongly disagree with the analysis of the Court of Appeal», Protested to AFP Me François Saint-Pierre, lawyer for the companion of Lionel Beauvais who has filed an appeal.

“Deleterious atmosphere”

In its judgment delivered on December 10, the investigating chamber considered that the investigation had “not allowed to confirm the existence of behavior or repeated acts on the part of the hierarchy of Lionel Beauvais of an abusive nature (…) with the aim or effect of degrading his working conditions“. The court cites, among others, the example of the change of office, denounced by the civil party as one of the discriminatory decisions taken against Lionel Beauvais: the court does not see a “desire for isolation“But the fruit of”organizational considerations” with “the arrival of several new magistrates“. The court also considers that there is nothing in the investigation to establish “that the heads of jurisdiction were aware“Before the suicide”elements concerning the state of mental health of Lionel Beauvais that may fall under their obligations“.

The substitute Lionel Beauvais, 50, was found hanged at his home in Fontenay-sous-Bois (Val-de-Marne) on the night of March 6 to 7, 2012. Before his suicide, the magistrate had expressed anxiety to colleagues, claiming to be monitored at home and at his office. An investigation carried out by the Créteil prosecutor’s office, with territorial jurisdiction, had not established a link between his death and his working conditions.

As part of an audit launched by the Chancellery at the request of magistrates of Nanterre, the General Inspectorate of Judicial Services had criticized in a May 2013 report to Philippe Courroye a “little taste for the administration of the jurisdiction as a whole“, Marked by an atmosphere”deleterious“. In September 2014, the companion of Lionel Beauvais had filed a complaint against X with the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office. The case was then disoriented in Versailles where a judicial investigation had been opened in February 2015. Besides Philippe Courroye, two other hierarchical superiors had also been heard by the investigators: Jean-Michel Hayat, current president of the court of appeal of Paris and former president of the Nanterre court, as a simple witness in 2017 and the magistrate at the Court of Cassation Marie-Christine Daubigney, ex-number 2 of Philippe Courroye in Nanterre, heard in 2018 and placed under the status of assisted witness.

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