Initially accepted at first instance and since Friday on the run, Redouane Ikil was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment on Friday evening by the Tarn Assize Court in Albi for the violent robberies of two post offices in Toulouse.
Convicted of "kidnapping" and "extortion," the former director of one of the two agencies is now subject to an arrest warrant issued by the court after his disappearance from the trial, where he seemed free.
The lawyer-general, David Senate, had taken note of this absence and had demanded 30 years of imprisonment against him. He accused him of being the "brain recruiter" robbers, of which only one, Fabien Djetcha, also assessed on appeal, was arrested and convicted.
Qualified by the Attorney General as "a simple, almost clumsy executioner," he saw his sentence reduced from one year to another by the court to 14 years. If he knew the facts, he refused to bring Redouane Ikil to court, who has always claimed his innocence.
The latter's lawyer, Edouard Martiel, announced a cassation appeal on Monday after "this very serious judgment". "Redouane Ikil has chosen freedom, it has a prize," he added after the announcement of the verdict, intervened in the night.
The lawyer had previously attributed the absence of his client to an attack of panic, recalling that he was detained 38 months prior to his acquittal during the trial in June 2017.
During the trial, which lasted for a week, characterized by heated debates, the civil party had tried to disassemble the portrait of the just and honest man drawn by the defense of Redouane Ikil, focusing on his activities as manager of two discos and boxer managers.
The investigation did not identify all the authors, "10, 12 or 15" according to the Advocate General, of the two robberies, the modus operandi of which were similar.
On March 6, 2012, two masked men stole 362,000 euros from one of the agencies, threatening a postman who had been taken from her home, beaten and sprayed with flammable liquid.
On 2 May 2013, three men set up a cashier from La Poste and her family at home before she had to open the suitcase again at the desk where she worked. But this time the warning was given and Fabien Djetcha arrested.