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Kidnapping of Olivier Dubois in Mali: his family wants the appointment of an investigating judge

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A year after the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois in Mali, the latter’s family lawyer asks that the investigation be entrusted to an investigating judge. Objective for the lawyer of the family of the independent journalist, to have access to the file and to accelerate the procedure.

The lawyer for the family of journalist Olivier Dubois, kidnapped a year ago by a jihadist group in Mali, wants the investigation to be entrusted to an investigating judge to have access to the file, regretting the “unbearable and disturbing silence from the French authorities. The 47-year-old freelance journalist, who has lived and worked in Mali since 2015, himself announced his abduction in a video posted on social networks on May 5, 2021.

Request to open a judicial investigation

He explained there that he was kidnapped on April 8 in Gao, in northern Mali, by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda. Following his abduction, the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) opened a preliminary investigation for “kidnapping in an organized gang” and “in relation to a terrorist enterprise”.

“After having, on September 6, 2021, searched the telephone of the companion of Olivier Dubois, the national anti-terrorist prosecution has just, on April 12, searched the home of the parents of a journalist, friend of the hostage”, affirms the lawyer for the companion and son of Olivier Dubois Me Laurent Bayon, in a press release sent to AFP on Saturday. After these “acts of investigation by the national anti-terrorism prosecution which question”, he “asked” Saturday to the Pnat to open a judicial investigation, in a letter consulted by AFP.

“Unbearable sequestration”

“Only the opening of a judicial investigation, with the appointment of an investigating judge, will allow access to the procedure and, thus, understanding the reasons which justify such acts”, he adds in the communicated. Access to the procedure is, according to him, “all the more necessary since, for more than a year now, the French authorities have remained silent about the reality of their investment in the release of Olivier Dubois.”

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Emmanuel Macron had assured on April 8 of “the full mobilization” of the State to put an end to his “unbearable confinement”. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian for his part insisted on “the need for silence in this kind of situation” and said he understood the “impatience” of the family. Olivier Dubois is the only French hostage in the world since the release in October 2020 of Sophie Pétronin, also kidnapped in Mali.

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