Justice reopens the Omar Raddad case

Designated by the inscription “Omar killed me” written in blood by the victim, Ghislain Marchal, the rich widow of an industrialist from Mougins, in the Var, the gardener has always claimed his innocence.

The investigating committee of the Court of Cassation has decided, this Thursday, December 16, 2021, to reopen the judicial file of Omar Raddad. A first step towards a possible review of the trial, according to his lawyer, Sylvie Noachovitch.
The case dates back to June 24, 1991 when Ghislaine Marchal, 65, was found dead at the bottom of his cellar, in his property of Mougins, in the Var. She was killed with a knife. But before dying, Ghislaine Marchal had time to write a few words in her own blood “Omar killed me”.

A strange spelling mistake

Omar was his gardener. The investigation is obviously directed towards this young father of family, of Moroccan origin, who has a nasty flaw: he plays horse racing. And, from time to time, he asks his boss for money to finish the month.
What intrigues, however, is the spelling mistake. Ghislaine Marchal was a lover of the French language and never made a spelling mistake. She was passionate about crossword puzzles. But above all, a person who is still alive [even if she is dying] does not write that she is already dead.
The investigation was closed a bit quickly. Omar Raddad was presented to the judge Jean-Paul Renard, indicted as it was then called and imprisoned.
But he always denied being the author of this murder.

Traces of DNA on the seals

The case was in the news for years. Three years later, the gardener was sentenced to 18 years of criminal imprisonment. But nobody was satisfied with this decision.
In 1996, the King of Morocco was moved by the situation of this gardener and obtained from Jacques Chirac, then President of the Republic, a partial pardon. Omar Raddad was released on September 4, 1998. But he demanded a new trial.
In 2002, the review commission ordered new investigations. But finally, it refused a new trial.
However, new DNA tests were carried out on two doors and a rafter on which the victim’s blood was found. The experts have serious doubts about the identity of the author of the inscription. Especially since traces belonging to four different men were identified on the seals. None of them belong to Omar Raddad.

At the time of the murder

But it is an expertise of 2019 that could change the game. Indeed, an expert has found 35 traces of a single male DNA on one of the two inscriptions “Omar m’a t”. And it is not that of the gardener. A small but crucial detail: these genetic prints were deposited at the time of the murder and not, as was initially believed, during a “contamination” after the fact.
This is enough to cast doubt on the accusation, a little quick, of the Moroccan gardener. A retrial will perhaps allow Omar Raddad to be cleared.

The Omar Raddad case revived by science