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Narumi affair: two weeks before his appeal trial, Nicolas Zepeda loses one of his lawyers

Will Nicolas Zepeda’s appeal trial finally take place? The Chilean must be judged on appeal, before the Haute-Saône assizes in Vesoul, from December 4, in less than two weeks. But, this Friday, there was a twist: one of the two lawyers who took over the case only last March, Mr. Julien Dreyfus, just announced that he was no longer defending him.

“We no longer ensure the defense of the interests of Mr. Nicolas Zepeda”indicated Maître Julien Dreyfus. “I can neither comment on the decision that was taken, nor the circumstances in which this decision was taken” he added. If Mr. Dreyfus speaks in the first person plural in his statement, Mr. Renaud Portejoie, Nicolas Zepeda’s other lawyer, could not be reached and we have not yet been able to confirm his withdrawal.

A new lawyer?

According to our information, a new lawyer was nevertheless approached. This is Maître Sylvain Cormier, from the Lyon bar. He notably defended Karim Benzema and the family of Yvan Colonna, as well as the murderer of the Frasnois prostitute in Besançon. Contacted by France Bleu Besançon, the lawyer has not yet announced his decision.

Me Julien Dreyfus (left), now ex-lawyer of Nicolas Zepeda, with Me Renaud Portejoie (right) whose decision is unknown this Friday evening.
Me Julien Dreyfus (left), now ex-lawyer of Nicolas Zepeda, with Me Renaud Portejoie (right) whose decision is unknown this Friday evening. © Maxppp

At first instance, in the spring of 2022 before the Doubs assizes, Nicolas Zepeda, then defended by Me Jacqueline Laffont, had been sentenced to 28 years of criminal imprisonment. He appealed this conviction.

Then, last February, Nicolas Zepeda challenged his new lawyer, Me Antoine Vey, with the consequence the postponement of his first appeal trial. Me Julien Dreyfus and Me Renaud Portejoie then took over his case. The appeal trial of the 32-year-old Chilean is to be held from December 4 to 22 before the Haute-Saône Assize Court, in Vesoul, but the question arises as to whether this sudden announcement will call everything into question? It’s unlikely.

Nicolas Zepeda is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Narumi Kurosaki, a Japanese student, disappeared in 2016, while living in Besançon. The young woman’s body was never found.

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