“There is a verdict which makes it possible to incarnate a responsibility”, reacts Stéphane Sarrade, father of a victim of the Bataclan

“The verdict is accompanied by a relief: there is a verdict that allows you to incarnate responsibility”said Wednesday June 29 on franceinfo Stéphane Sarrade, father of Hugo, killed at the Bataclan, after the statement of the verdict of the trial of the attacks of November 13. The 20 defendants were sentenced to terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment. Salah Abdeslamthe only surviving member of the commandos of November 13, 2015, was sentenced to irreducible life imprisonment.

>> Trial of November 13: the logbook of an ex-hostage of the Bataclan, week 31

Stéphane Sarrade also says that he was sometimes “shocked” by “a reversal of roles with survivors who feel guilty for having survived” and in the accused’s box, “victims of their dating”.

franceinfo: How did you feel hearing the president of the Special Court of Paris?

Stéphane Sarrade: The verdict is accompanied by relief, but relief at two levels. It is a relief because it is the end of a very long procedure for us, civil parties. We had to follow this trial for nine months, with very intense moments. And the relief because, for me, there is a verdict which makes it possible to incarnate a responsibility. During these hearings, I was surprised and even shocked by the fact that there was a reversal of roles. The civil parties, of which I was a part, expressed the guilt, me first, since it was I who offered my son the Bataclan tickets. Survivors feel guilty for having survived. Security teams feel guilty for not saving enough people. And in front of us, we had a box where we had people who were victims, victims of their trajectories, victims of their associations, victims of their addictions. And this reversal of roles is something that, at the end of the trial, became extremely complicated for me. This verdict puts things in the sense that is logical, which is that there is a responsibility. And this responsibility has been reaffirmed. As a civil party, as Hugo’s dad, it was important to hear it.

Will this allow you to look ahead, towards the future?

Quite honestly, I had put very little pretension or hope in this lawsuit, since I imagined that we would not have many answers to all the questions. What is important to me is that we walked this path one last time. That is to say look deep within us. We had to come back to the tragedy, to the details, to try to get to the bottom of the horror. And that, we knew it was going to be difficult. We have reached this end and that is what will allow me to continue to move forward. And then with you, in particular the media, we had a vision of collective mourning, since it was France that was affected.

“This trial has made this collective mourning visible. Now, we, the families and the victims, must continue to move forward with our personal mourning which will never leave us, but with which we are now led to live and to survive sometimes.”

Stephane Sarrade

at franceinfo

Should we try to resume a normal life?

There will be no normal life. There will be life after. That’s what we all want. We have shared a lot between civil parties. There was a lot of benevolence and a lot of human warmth during these nine months. Me, I met great people. I met people, especially people who were at the Bataclan, who gave wonderful testimonies, who thanked me because I had said that, if Hugo was there, he would be so happy to see survivors. These moments, we keep them. They are important and will help us for the afterlife.

This trial had the virtue of making the voice of the victims heard, the voice of the bereaved parents. When you testified, did you also leave things that were encumbering you and which perhaps also found a grave in this courtroom?

Yes. During my hearing on October 21. It was a very important moment, since it took me almost two months to try to write, to put my ideas in order so as not to be too long nor too short so as not to forget anything and above all to show Hugo as he was. That moment was important for me, since I concluded by turning to the dock and saying, ‘despite everything, despite the pain, despite the suffering, despite the emptiness, despite the absence, this what Hugo left us to his loved ones and his family is love. It is thanks to this that we are standing. I wanted to tell them that we are standing and that they did not win. And that was important. I told them without hate. Hatred has never been a driving force for me that would allow us to move forward. Hate eats you up. But I needed to say that Hugo’s legacy allowed us to be there, to be standing. And above all, they had not won.

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