The Boulin case is reopened by the French prosecution and can have significant consequences for some politicians.
The Telegraph reports that “the family’s lawyer, Marie Dosé, said new evidence had emerged indicating that Boulin, a decorated veteran of the French Resistance during the Second World War, was kidnapped on the night of his death at the age of 59.”
The first officer on the scene was Francis Deswarte. He saw Boulin’s body first. According to the official verdict, Boulin drowned after taking barbiturates. Mr Deswarte said he saw the minister’s body in the pool in Rambouillet Forrest on October 30, 1979.
From the BBC: “After spotting a car behind a wood pile, he saw the body in nearby water, said to have been 50 cm (19 inches) deep. He was kneeling, with his head out of the water, looking towards the car,” said Mr Deswarte.
Asked about the official verdict of death by drowning, he replied: “Robert Boulin did not drown. It is not possible. He was virtually on all fours, his head out of the water. “I am convinced that he was trying to crawl to the bank. And then, he had marks on his face like red scratches.” The former officer said he had been taken off the case 30 minutes later.
Two or three months afterwards, Mr Deswarte was called in for questioning and asked by police to change his version of the events, he told 20 Minutes: “When I talked about the marks on his face, they explained to me that emergency workers had dropped the body when they removed it from the pond. “But that is not true. I was there. The emergency workers removed it without any difficulty.” Asked why he had finally chosen to speak out, he said he had heard “a lot of lies” and wanted to tell the truth.”
The case: Robert Boulin (20 July 1920 – 30 October 1979) was a French politician who served as Minister of Labour in the French Cabinet and was at the centre of a major real-estate scandal that ended only with his death in mysterious circumstances. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving minister in post-revolution French history; only Louis XIV’s Colbert served longer. On Oct 29, 1979 Boulin disappeared. He was found the next day under circumstances that hint at suicide: in a pond in the forest of Rambouillet where he loved to ride horses, an empty barbiturates container was next to his car, and inside that car messages for family, friends, and colleagues.
If you have read the book by Boulin’s daughter, let me know your thoughts.