That day, at the end of the evening, he drew his revolver to shoot him in the head.
The jury answered in the affirmative the court’s questions and found him guilty of murder. The sentencing will resume at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. He faces the maximum penalty provided by law, life imprisonment.
From twists to twists
The four-day trial of Philippe Lemaire left little room for doubt about the answers the jury expected. The first question about the murder of Marie-Thérèse Roufosse is all the more obvious since Philippe Lemaire confessed.
On the other hand, the second aspect of the assassination, namely premeditated homicide, seems obvious to all parties, including the defense attorneys… except for the accused.
Disagreements that took a new turn on Thursday with the resumption of the hearing in the afternoon. Me Dimitri De Coster announced that the defenders waived their guilty pleas. “I refuse to demand anything he announces in cathedral-like silence. I don’t want to reveal my intimate beliefs. On the other hand, I am aware that we are betraying Mr. Lemaire with my defense colleague MeSylvain Danneels. We spoke to him about it. He understands.”
The courage of MeDe Coster
However, following the pleadings of the civil parties and the indictment by Advocate General Dimitri Gourdange, the Habaysian lawyer wanted to speak again to explain his discomfort. “I feel like I have to choose between two betrayals, he specifies. That I betray myself by supporting my client’s untenable thesis, or that I betray Mr. Lemaire by refusing to defend him. Tomorrow morning when I plead at length, if it will be necessary to discuss the verdict, I will do it calmly and with conviction.” At the end of the hearing, all the protagonists, leading civil lawyers, praised the courageous stance of the two defense attorneys.
The accused defends himself
We therefore expected a long intervention from Philippe Lemaire, portrayed by many as manipulative and intelligent, to ensure his defense alone. It did not happen. “All this nonsense I’ve heard during this process makes me laugh” , he blurted out angrily. Then, with an accusing finger pointed at the victim’s eldest son: “Mary should be alive in his place to watch the trial and he shouldn’t be there any longer.” I’m not sure if that last outing helped him convince the jury of the lack of intent he asked them to express.