Goldman’s Trial: Revisiting the Controversial Legal Battle in the Heart of Paris
The Silent March and the Mystery Behind
In 1979, the streets of Paris witnessed a silent march, where an estimated 15,000 people, including influential figures of the era, mourned the assassination of Pierre Goldman. A left-wing activist, Goldman had previously been acquitted of a double murder following a drawn-out legal battle. The case, which earned Goldman both notoriety and sympathy, has now been brought to the big screen in the film, “Le Procès Goldman,” directed by Cédric Kahn.
An Unfamiliar Suspect and a Crime that Shocked Paris
The story begins in December 1969, when an armed man stormed a Parisian pharmacy, killing two women and injuring a police officer before fleeing the scene. An anonymous tip-off led the law enforcement to Pierre Goldman. At the time, the 26-year-old Goldman was virtually unknown to authorities but was part of left-wing activist circles. Despite his admission of committing three out of four robberies he was accused of, Goldman denied any involvement in the pharmacy robbery.
A Trial that Divided Public Opinion
Goldman’s trial, which opened in Paris in 1974, was a subject of great public interest. Despite inconsistencies in witness testimonies, Goldman was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, many observers felt that Goldman was denied the benefit of the doubt. His book, “Souvenirs obscurs d’un juif polonais né en France” (Dark Memories of a Polish Jew Born in France), in which he proclaimed his innocence, garnered extensive support. His sentence was eventually annulled by the Court of Cassation in 1975 due to a technicality.
The Second Trial: A New Hope or a Repeat of Injustice?
A new trial was held in Amiens, where Goldman argued that the investigation was biased. He was defended by a team of lawyers, including the renowned attorney Georges Kiejman. The defense argued that the police had manipulated witness testimonies. Me Pascal Pouillot, a retired lawyer who was a trainee at the time, remembers Goldman as a reserved and anxious man who was also capable of explosive outbursts.
Le Procès Goldman: Reviving the Past on the Silver Screen
In the film “Le Procès Goldman,” director Cédric Kahn chooses not to create a biopic but rather an exploration of Goldman’s personality through the high-stakes trial. The film aims to capture the intensity of the courtroom drama and the public spotlight that the trial brought upon Goldman. It serves as a reminder of a controversial legal battle that divided public opinion and a man at the center of it all who was acquitted yet assassinated – Pierre Goldman.
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