“SOnly the opening of a judicial investigation, with the appointment of an investigating judge, will allow access to the procedure and thus, to understand the reasons which justify such acts”, justifies in a press release published on Saturday April 16, Master Laurent Bayon, lawyer for the family of journalist Olivier Dubois, kidnapped a year ago in Mali. The request was officially sent to the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) by mail, following two searches carried out by the PNAT “which question”.
A survey and questions
The purpose of this process is to gain access to the file. Indeed, Olivier Dubois’ family regrets the “unbearable and disturbing” silence of the French authorities. The 47-year-old freelance journalist, who has lived and worked in Mali since 2015, had himself announced his kidnapping in a video broadcast on social networks on May 5, 2021. He explained there that he had been kidnapped on April 8 in Gao, in the 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 opened a preliminary investigation for “kidnapping in an organized gang” and “in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.
“After having, on September 6, 2021, searched the telephone of the companion of Olivier Dubois, the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office 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 Mand Laurent Bayon, in Saturday’s press release. “Acts of investigation by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office which raise questions”. 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”.
State support and silence
Emmanuel Macron had assured on April 8 – the anniversary of the journalist’s kidnapping – 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. A video posted on social networks in March attests that he is still alive. Despite this, for a year Olivier Dubois has been the only French hostage in the world since the release in October 2020 of Sophie Pétronin, also kidnapped in Mali.