Marc Trévidic, former anti-terrorism judge and current president of the chamber at the Versailles Court of Appeal, speaks on Caroline Broué’s microphone. Accustomed to the media, which he knew how to use extensively to ensure that certain issues were heard – which earned him a number of enmities -, he is particularly blunt in his responses. But let’s not skip ahead.

Birth in Bordeaux (1965, episode 1) and childhood in Versailles; a father on the right, a mother on the left. The first dreams: to be a writer (he became one), a rocker (at the end of this five-part series, he will dare to cover Gaby oh! Gaby, from Bashung) or a formula 1 driver.

As a teenager, Marc Trévidic read a lot of English poetry, learned Arabic, and traveled very early to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iraq too. And then, while he was preparing for the entrance exam to the National School of Magistracy, the news of 1986 caught up with him with the wave of particularly bloody attacks claimed by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, the kidnapping of journalists from the Antenne 2 channel by Islamic Jihad in Beirut or the assassination of Georges Besse, CEO of Renault, by Action Directe.

A lack of resources

In 2000, he joined the anti-terrorism section of the Paris High Court under Jean-Louis Bruguière, who headed it at the time. He saw both how the faces of terrorists changed and how counterterrorism policy shifted from Corsicans and Basques to Islamists after the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York.

Today, he recognizes: “In terms of results on radical Islam, we have failed, the situation is worse. » Forced to leave before the attacks of November 13, 2015 (the appointment of an investigating judge is subject to the ten-year term limit), we can hear his anger when he says: “It was obvious that we were going to take massive attacks. » And notes: “It took these killings for the money to flow freely, for the staff of the DGSI [general directorate of internal security] to be increased and for the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office to be created. »

In episode 3, he returns to what is at the heart of the profession: “Establishing the truth while respecting the rules of law. » Says he is certain that the current system is too permeable to judicial errors. That certain widely publicized cases – particularly in matters of rape – should not make us forget a glaring lack of resources.

He will return to it again in the fifth and final episode, where he discusses widely (and, we sense, with a lot of passion) his work as a novelist: Marc Trévidic is the author of Ahlam and the Yellow Store (JC Lattès, 2016 and 2018).