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Seychelles: tried for the murder of his partner, the French street-artist Thomas Debatisse fixed on his fate

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Crime of passion or suicide? Accused of the murder of his partner in April 2021 in a hotel in the Seychelles, the Frenchman Thomas Debatisse, known by the pseudonym “Otom” in the middle of street-art, must know the verdict of his trial this Thursday, April 14.

On April 27, 2021, Emmanuelle Badibanga, manager of a place dedicated to events in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), was found hanging from the towel hanger in the bathroom at Club Med on the island of Sainte -Anne.

First suspect in this investigation, her companion Thomas Debatisse, present with her during this stay, pleaded his innocence.

After two months of debate, opposing the thesis of murder supported by the prosecution and that of suicide defended by the lawyers of the artist, the trial ended Tuesday in Victoria, the capital of the archipelago. Following a final reminder of the facts, the Supreme Court of Seychelles will deliver its verdict on Thursday.

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A questionable autopsy

Carried out by a Cuban doctor posted to the Seychelles, the autopsy carried out on the body of Emmanuelle Badibanga concluded that she had been strangled, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of her husband on May 5.

However, the lawyer for the 35-year-old artist questioned the latter during his argument during the trial earlier this week. “He (the forensic scientist) did not do any scientific analyses, he only did visual analyzes, (…) we have to do scientific analyzes to get the truth,” Bazil lamented. Hoareau, in charge of the file in the camp of the French street-artist.

Suicide thesis undermined

The defense of Thomas Debatisse relied on an investigation opened for “intentional homicide by spouse” by the French justice in Nice. Filed on December 14, 2021 after examination by two French medical examiners of the expert opinions carried out, the report indicated that “all the elements plead in favor of a hanging (…) and not of a strangulation”.

However, prosecutor Hemanth Kumar on Friday questioned the thesis of suicide put forward by the French counter-expertise, citing the two forensic doctors who “declared (during the trial) that it was impossible that the victim hanged himself with the scarf found on Emmanuelle Badibanga”.

“The medical examiner who went to the scene of the accident is formal, it is impossible to hang himself with the scarf which was found around the neck of the victim”, continued the prosecutor, before resuming the conclusions of the initial report made by the Cuban professional: “Emmanuelle Badibanga was strangled from behind”.

In case of conviction this Thursday, which could go up to life imprisonment, “Otom” will have to serve his sentence on the archipelago since no extradition agreement exists between France and the Seychelles.

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