On Wednesday May 15, 2024, the Assize Court granted three of the seven requests made by the businessman, Bernard Maigrot. These requests concern access to key documents on the DNA analyzes undertaken by Professor Christian Doutremepuich in a laboratory in Bordeaux, in 2010. This is as part of the reopening of the Vanessa Lagesse affair.

On Wednesday, Judge Luchmyparsad Aujayeb ordered the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to disclose to Bernard Maigrot's lawyers all reports and documents prepared by Professor Doutremepuich regarding the analysis and interpretation of DNA in the Lagesse case, as well as any communication from the professor in response to requests made by the defense or the DPP over the years.

The DPP must also communicate to the defense the methodology behind carrying out the DNA analysis. The judge ordered that Bernard Maigrot be informed of the significance attributed to the analysis of samples from the “washing tests” mentioned in a report.

These three requests were deemed “relevant” for the defense, in accordance with the principle of equality between the prosecution and the defense. This decision follows a motion from Me Gavin Glover, Senior Counsel, who represents Bernard Maigrot. He maintained that the DNA expert reports provided to the defense on May 10, 2024 are incomplete. The defense wants to submit additional information to the two experts it plans to call to the stand for a second opinion.

The judge also ruled that the defendant's four other requests will be better addressed during the trial, including those regarding the potential mechanisms of DNA transfer on the analyzed objects, the possibility of assessing whether the DNA transfer was the result of direct or secondary contact, and the possibility of estimating the age or time elapsed since the deposition of genetic material on the objects.

The jury trial has been set to be heard on the merits on May 20, 2024. Bernard Maigrot, aged 60, faces a retrial for the unpremeditated murder of stylist Vanessa Lagesse, whose body was discovered on March 10, 2001 in his bathtub at his bungalow in Grand-Baie.

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