Justice. In 1986, a woman disappeared from Toulouse. 20 years imprisonment is required for the accused

Joel Bourgeon was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Wednesday for the murder of Martine Espadillas.

Justice. In 1986, a woman disappeared from Toulouse. 20 years imprisonment is required for the accused

Joel Bourgeon was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Wednesday for the murder of Martine Espadillas. Martine, a young secretary, disappeared in 1986 at the agglomeration in Toulouse. Her body was never recovered.

Joel Bourgeon, a former friend of Martine with her companion Thierry Milicevic was declared Advocate General Nicolas Ruff.

The prosecution invited the accused to speak before the Haute-Garonne Assize Court. He has been claiming innocence since Friday's start of his trial.

Nicolas Ruff, during his indictment, reviewed the "serious and concordant" collection of clues that the investigators presented before the trial, in the absence irrefutable evidence.

Nicolas Ruff acknowledged that there were "errors" in the 1986 investigation. He said the investigation was "left fallow for many years and years". However, he denied that the confessions of the accused in 2019 by Nicolas Ruff, before retracting them, had been "extorted from him".

Martine was close to the accused, now aged 58. They had played football together, taken motorcycle rides and were invited to lunch with Martine's parents the day before her disappearance.

He confessed to murdering Martine more than 30 years later when he was arrested. However, he did not specify where the body was located. He retracted his confession a week later, claiming that he was being dictated by investigators.

The Advocate General stated that Martine "doesn't say where the body lies and continues to hurt his family" on Wednesday. He was also present in the large Hall.

Nicolas Ruff said that "this hearing could have been an occasion to alleviate some suffering", but "you didn't let go". He requested that the jurors sentence the accused to 20 years imprisonment.

Martine's family applauded Martine's Advocate General before the president called them into order. The daughters of Joel Bourgeon aged 22 and 25 burst into tears.

Frederic David is Martine's family lawyer. He believes that whatever happens in the trial, which will conclude Wednesday evening, it will be marked with a "failure" if the body of the young girl who disappeared over 35 years ago cannot be found.

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