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Gowmatee Madhubala Madhub-Dassyne, the director of the Forensic Science Laboratory, revealed in court that the laboratory called on French expertise, notably in the Vanessa Lagesse affair.

French expertise had been requested for unresolved cases following mutual legal assistance between the French and Mauritian governments. This is what the director of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Gowmatee Madhubala Madhub-Dassyne, declared on Wednesday June 5, 2024, in the criminal court. Two cases had been referred to the Bordeaux forensic laboratory, notably the cases of Nadine Dantier and Vanessa Lagesse.

From the outset, the director of FSL explained that the DNA Identification Act was adopted in 2009. It was not until 2011 that the FSL was accredited.

Thus following mutual legal assistance, Miss Goodur, a former FSL officer, had in June 2001 transported a batch of evidence containing a brown sheet and “controlled blood samples” from nine people to a forensic laboratory in Bordeaux ( see box). She then collected them on June 12, 2009 and brought them back to Mauritius.

The witness also recounted his involvement in this affair. She went to Grand-Baie on March 10, 2001, for a first-hand observation. She had examined evidence collected by the forensic police and written several reports. (See box)

On the other hand, she claimed that the hair raised in the victim's hand as well as in the bathroom was hers. And that the blood found in the deceased's house would also be hers, particularly from group O.

On April 2, 2001, Madhubala Madhub-Dassyne again went to Vanessa Lagesse's home. She had taken samples in the bathroom as well as in discharge pipes. For her, “it yielded into inconclusive results”.

On May 21, 2001, she personally handed over samples and evidence to Forensic Science Services in Huntington, England for forensic purposes. In particular some “controlled blood samples”, samples of pubic hair, eyelashes and eyebrows from the victim as well as six intimate samples from Vanessa Lagesse.

Furthermore, the clothes of Bernard Maigrot and Josiane and Maurice Tostée had been subject to examination. The businessman's boots and socks were also analyzed. However, maintains the director of the FSL, “it did not reveal any trace of forensic value”. She also declared that an analysis for the presence of sperm in the private parts of the deceased “did not reveal any specimen of evidence”.

When the hearing resumed in the afternoon, FSL director Madhubala Madhub-Dassyne returned to the stand. She claimed that Miss Goodur collected the evidence from Bordeaux, France, and returned to the country on July 30, 2010. The witness was then confronted with a receipt notice from the Bordeaux forensic hematology laboratory.

According to the document, the items listed are a partially used blue nylon rope and a blood sample from Bernard Maigrot marked “fully used” next to the inscription: “sealed condition.”

Furthermore, the director of the FSL stressed having “personally” collected 29 pieces of evidence from the FSL liaison office, to go to France. She left the country on October 3, 2010 and returned with the exhibits on October 8, 2010 and handed them over to the FSL.

Seven FSL reports produced in court

Furthermore, the director of the FSL produced seven reports drawn up following the analysis of several pieces of evidence. Former head of the forensic department, Dr Satish Boolell, had called for an examination of the blood and hair samples of nine people. The latter voluntarily submitted to this examination.

From March to June 2001: Nine people submitted samples for analysis. They are Julien Dominique Millien, Elizabeth Hennesch, Vikram Goodye, Miriam Soringe, Elizabeth Maigrot, Maurice Tostée, Bernard Maigrot, Josiane Marie Noëlle Tostée and Marie Arthur Louis Langlois.

  • April 7, 2001: nail sample report
  • June 27, 2001: Hair sample report
  • June 27, 2001: report following an analysis of the victim's vaginal, anal and oral “swabs” and an examination of the evidence
  • August 9, 2001: report concerning the examination of four vehicles
  • August 9, 2001: report of a re-examination of the deceased's residence
  • September 10, 2001: report following the analysis of the evidence
  • May 17, 2002: report on the analysis of a pair of women's pants and a pair of shoes

An analysis of the FSL carried out in 2011 at the heart of the debates

Debates are planned for this Thursday, June 6, 2024, on the legitimacy of the testimony of the director of the FSL, Madhubala Madhub-Dassyne, concerning an experiment carried out in 2011 in the Vanessa Lagesse affair.

This was following an objection from Me Gavin Glover, lawyer for Bernard Maigrot, to a question asked to the witness by the representative of the prosecution, Me Darshana Gayan, Senior Assistant to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The question was as follows: “During the investigation, you were asked to conduct an experiment in 2011…”. Mr. Gavin Glover opposed the approach. The jury was asked to retire, as was the witness.

Mr. Gavin Glover maintained that the defense objects to any testimony from this witness in relation to any experimentation carried out in 2011. Because, according to the Senior Counsel, the prosecution failed to disclose “this episode” before the start of the trial. This goes “against the rules on the disclosure of incriminating evidence and is also in violation of the defendant’s rights to a fair trial,” he said.

The representative of the prosecution, Me Darshana Gayan, then requested that the court carry out a “voir dire” in the case, in the absence of the jurors. The DPP representative maintained that a complete file was provided to the defense in the case. The director of the FSL was thus called back to the stand. The prosecution then asked the witness what documents she had in her possession in relation to this experiment. “I was sent a protocol for depositing cells on a sheet and washing studies on cells present on a sheet,” replied the witness.

However, Mr. Gavin Glover asked: “Where does this leave us? I have no idea what this is about and we are in complete darkness regarding this experiment.” Bernard Maigrot's lawyer then invited the court to debate the question.

Three dates set for the testimony of Professor Christian Doutremepuich

The French authorities agreed to the request from the Mauritian authorities. Thus, Professor Christian Doutremepuich, from Bordeaux, will testify by videoconference at the trial of Bernard Maigrot. This concerns the DNA expert reports of the witness in the murder of Vanessa Lagesse. This is what emerges from the documents communicated to the businessman's lawyers and those of the prosecution by Mr. Kristyven Andy Putchay, Senior State Counsel of the Attorney General's office.

After examining the documents, Mr. Gavin Glover, lawyer for Bernard Maigrot, however wanted to know the terms of this upcoming testimony. Where will the witness be during his hearing? Will he take an oath before testifying? Will the procedure take place before a judge or a prosecutor? So many elements that the defense wants to know. Judge Luchmyparsad Aujayeb ordered Mr Kristyven Andy Putchay to do what is necessary so that the exercise can be carried out in accordance with the rules. Three dates were set to collect the professor's testimony, namely June 10, 11 and 14, 2024.

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