“You are not a great lawyer until you have faced a great ordeal”: this is what one of his colleagues said. For Alain Jakubowicz, the big test is Nordahl Lelandais. An atypical client in his long career “Jaku”, as it is calledhe is the lawyer for noble causes, the defender of the civil parties in the trial of the former Nazi Klaus Barbie, then in the trials of Paul Touvier or Maurice Papon, accused of complicity in genocide…
Tall, angular, Alain Jakubowicz is stiff as justice. At the Barbie trial, he claims a life sentence that even the Klarsfelds do not claim. He will also defend the victims of the Mont Blanc tunnel disaster and the missing from the Rio-Paris flight.
Alain Jakubowicz is best known as the president of the LICRA. For 7 years, he was the slayer of racism and anti-Semitism… Of all racisms, including what some call “anti-white” racism, which shakes the venerable institution. It doesn’t just earn him friends. He becomes one of the favorite targets of the humorist Dieudonné: he will fight him relentlessly, with his guts and he will have him condemned. He is still and always on the good side.
How Jakubowicz agreed to defend Lelandais
But in September 2017, we discover him in another register, lawyer for Nordahl Lelandais, then suspected of the murder of an 8-year-old girl, Maëlys. It all started with a phone call. The caller is a former client, a man whose acquittal he obtained at the Assizes. This man is with the parents of Nordahl Lelandais, the dog handler has just been placed in detention…
“He passes me his mother, says Alain Jakubowicz, in his book Either I win or I learnshe explains to me her distress and her certainty of her son’s innocence”. At this time, Lelandais is already presented in the media “as a kind of psychopath”.
Should we agree to defend it? Alain Jakubowicz runs a business law firm, it’s not really his department… He consults his associates, including his daughter who reminds him that he is the grandfather of a granddaughter of Maëlys’ age . But in the end, it is he and he alone who decides to accept.
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