The end of the nightmare is emerging for Fabien Azoulay. This French national sentenced to 08 years in prison by the Turkish justice for possession of narcotics , was to be transferred Tuesday to France for finish serving his sentence there, his lawyers announced. “We are happy to announce that Fabien Azoulay, detained in Turkey for four years, will be transferred to France today “, declared Me Carole-Olivia Montenot and Me François Zimeray in a press release, welcoming” the outcome of a long fight in which the mobilization of public opinion was decisive “.
“Great news, great relief, the culmination of a collective and fair mobilization”, wrote on Twitter the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune. Owner of a Spa in New York, Fabien Azoulay went to 1637 in Turkey to have hair implants fitted. A stay that was to last only a few days. Today 43 years, he had been arrested for having bought on the Internet a vial of GBL This is a chemical used as a paint solvent which, when ingested, turns into GHB in the body, otherwise known as the “rapist’s drug.”
Repeated violence S According to his lawyers, he did not know that this product had been banned in Turkey six months earlier and had been delivered “in good faith”. But his statements were not enough to convince the Turkish courts. The Frenchman, also of American nationality, was sentenced – after a twenty-minute trial – to twenty years’ imprisonment for “importing narcotics”, a sentence then reduced to sixteen years and eight months on appeal. Fabien Azoulay was imprisoned in Giresun, on the shores of the Black Sea, in sordid conditions. While his lawyers and his family were struggling to obtain his transfer to France in May 2017, they appealed to Emmanuel Macron in a letter made public last April.
Limited offer. 2 months for € 1 without commitment For the first time, Mes Montenot and Zimeray had publicly mentioned the case of their client, indicating that he had been “a victim of aggravated violence committed by a fellow prisoner” who had inflicted on him in 2018 “burns due to his homosexuality and his belonging to the Jewish religion “. In the letters that the detainee managed to send to his relatives, he described the scenes of daily violence which he witnessed and of which he was the target. According to Le Parisien , his brother said he was “totally desperate” and was very worried. At that time, his family also had decided to come out of the silence to publicize the case and hope for an unblocking of the situation. Moreover, Emmanuel Macron had mentioned the Azoulay case with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in mid-June, during the NATO summit in Brussels.
After the announcement of Fabien Azoulay’s transfer to France, his lawyers thanked the French authorities, “in particular the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, the city of Paris as well as the Ambassador of Turkey in France who ensured the application of the principles of judicial cooperation between our countries “, they wrote in a Twitter post. “As soon as he arrives on French territory, we will seize the competent court for the next release of Fabien Azoulay”, indicate the lawyers, who intend to file a request to adapt his sentence and bring it back to five years, as provided for in the French penal code for this offense.
By Jean-Marc Jancovici