these images at the heart of the debates
But where are the images that would prove Gérald Darmanin’s version of the incidents that occurred at the Stade de France on May 28? Before the senators of the law and culture commissions, on June 1, the Minister of the Interior had assured that the video surveillance of public transport attested to the advanced number of “30 to 40,000 English supporters without tickets or with falsified tickets”who reportedly flocked to the edge of the stadium and sparked chaos.
“I cannot show them to you, but I suggest that Presidents Buffet and Lafon be able to see them”, he added. Problem: two weeks later, the two senators have still not seen it. They call to « the diligence of the services of the ministry and the police headquarters ». A source familiar with the matter believes that it would in fact be up to the prosecution to give the authorization.
In the meantime, the report of the interministerial delegate to the Olympic Games and major events Michel Cadot, submitted on June 10, has come to erode the official figure: the data are « to relativize », he says without denying a large influx of unexpected spectators. He notes that supporters are not the only passengers on public transport, and that the crowds therefore also concern “residents, people passing through and spectators”. Return trips « are not counted »but he points out that the SNCF has noted a « Influx of travelers wishing to return to Paris » during the game.
« The erasure had begun »
The representatives of the RATP and the SNCF were heard by the senators on Tuesday June 14. The previous week, the French Football Federation had revealed that it had not kept the images from its cameras. The police headquarters, for its part, indicated that it still had its own. What about those of transport operators?
On the SNCF side, which manages the RER D and the northern part of the RER B, only part of the images have been kept. The director of Transilien, Sylvie Charles, explains elliptically: “The only things we have left are the video surveillance at Saint-Denis, Plaine-Saint-Denis and Saint-Denis-Stade-de-France stations, but in these last two stations the erasure had begun. » As at the RATP, the images are usually kept for three days, but some were frozen this time by the SNCF due to an incident at Saint-Denis station, she adds, before formal requisitions on 10 June.
At the RATP, which takes care of line 13 of the metro, no image remains of this evening: “Having had no incident, we did not store them. And we didn’t have any requisitions until Friday »(June 10, after the hearing of the FFF, editor’s note)reports Philippe Martin, deputy director general of the management.
What arouse misunderstanding on the benches of senators: “How, in such an important chain of actors, there was not, by viewing the images live in the security PC, the reflex of saying to oneself “we keep”? “, moved David Assouline (PS), pointing the finger at the responsibility of companies, but also that of justice, which delivers the requisitions.
« Hot Potato »
Beyond the debate on the images, the senators want to understand why access to the stadium from the exit of the RER D has been congested. On this point, a representative of the FFF had clearly designated the transport operators on Thursday: “If we had had real-time information on the diversion of RER B flows (partly on strike, editor’s note) towards the RER D, we could have redesigned our system at the start of the afternoon. The prefecture did not have the information either. »
An attack that is not to the taste of the operators. « This plan was shared in a meeting chaired by the authorities on May 25, and communicated publicly on the 26th », assures Christophe Fanichet, CEO of SNCF Voyageurs. Philippe Martin, deputy general manager of the RATP, also insists on « frequent meetings » : « The FFF was aware that we were going to postpone the flow to line D. »
Thursday, June 16, it is the turn of Michel Cadot to be heard. Will he take on the role of justice of the peace? “Since the start of these auditions, we still have the feeling that the various actors of the evening of May 28 are passing on the hot potato and passing the responsibility on to each other”summarizes the socialist senator Jean-Jacques Lozach.