French police officers face disciplinary action for the death of a woman who was shot and burned alive in the street by her estranged husband, weeks after she told police she feared for her life.
Mounir Boutaa allegedly shot his wife, Chahinez, at least twice in the legs meters from their home on the outskirts of Bordeaux in broad daylight in May, before dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire as she lay wounded on the ground. .
Two months earlier, Chahinez Boutaa told police that her husband had ambushed her in the parking lot of a local supermarket, forced her into his truck and held her prisoner for two hours while beating her. Police, apparently unaware that he was reporting to probation services, assured him that they would locate him.
Public shock at the violence of the attack turned to anger when a French newspaper revealed that the police officer who took the victim’s complaint had been convicted of domestic violence.
All the police officers involved in the case, including a commissioner, two commanders and a brigadier, face being disciplined for a “series of failures” in the police and legal chain, including a failure to take seriously the threat that Boutaa poses to his wife. , the French radio station France Inter reported.
Chahinez Boutaa had not been informed that in December last year her husband had been released on parole after serving six months of a nine-month sentence for an earlier attack on her.
France Inter said an internal police investigation found that the officer who handled the victim’s complaint messed up the procedure and did not record it correctly. He also reportedly forced Chahinez Boutaa to fill out a second form, which he should have completed himself, before emailing the documents to the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office without attaching the complaint.
According to France Inter, the internal investigation also found that detectives who should have been searching for Mounir Boutaa were busy tracking down an alleged rapist on the Bordeaux university campus. A second group of detectives tasked with finding the husband “did not have the required skills and had to deal with several absences due to Covid.”
He added that although Mounir Boutaa had been released from prison on probation and asked to appear, probation officers who had been told they were looking for him on new allegations of domestic violence did not detain him or report to the police. police who had seen him twice.
The disciplinary procedure is likely to range from a reprimand to a more serious action, but a police source told France Inter radio that “taken individually … these are not serious offenses” in the opinion of the Interior Ministry. The Justice Minister has said that he will take “organizational measures to ensure that the observed failures do not reoccur.”
The death of Chahinez Boutaa was the 39th femicide in France of the year. Since then, at least 40 other women have been killed by partners or former partners.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism