10 years ago, lawyer Antoine Sollacaro was murdered in Ajaccio

That Tuesday morning at 9:05 a.m., the 63-year-old lawyer bought his newspaper like every morning at a gas station on the Ajaccio seaside. Sitting at the wheel of his Porsche Carrera, he was executed by nine bullets, including five in the head, by the passenger of a motorcycle.

This assassination, the 15th in Corsica in 2012 and the first for 20 years in France of a lawyer, is upsetting. “It is the whole of justice that is affected”reacts the Keeper of the Seals, Christiane Taubira, speaking of “shock wave”.

Born January 30, 1949 in Propriano, this early nationalist militant with a massive physique, father of Paul and Ana-Maria, both lawyers, was one of the most brilliant Corsican criminal lawyers, president of Ajaccio from 1998 to 1999 .
He had defended Yvan Colonna, sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination, in 1998, of the prefect of Corsica Claude Erignac.
He was also the lawyer for Alain Orsoni, the former nationalist leader of the Movement for Self-Determination (MPA), who in 2008 became president of the football club Athletic Club d’Ajaccio, and his son Guy.

“Burmese Junta”
Among his clients were also several figures, presumed members or relatives of organized crime in the island, such as Michel Tomi, José Menconi or Francis Mariani.

At the bar, the criminal lawyer was known for his pugnacious and scathing even provocative pleadings: on February 27, 2009, he compared to a “burmese junta“the special assize court of Paris judging Colonna for the assassination of the prefect Erignac.

During his funeral in Propriano, some 150 black-robed lawyers from all over France paid homage to him, in front of a thousand people, while a minute’s silence was observed in all the courts of France.
But on November 14, 2012, history stutters: Jacques Nacer, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Corse-du-Sud, close to Alain Orsoni, is in turn assassinated.
Christiane Taubira and the Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls come twice to Corsica to affirm loud and clear the mobilization of the State, while calling on the Corsicans to rebel against “the mafia which plagues the island”.
Reinforcements are announced in the police and justice to fight primarily against “business” and money laundering.

On December 5, a motorcycle corresponding to that of the Sollacaro killers was found.
Less than six months after his death, at the end of March 2013, 11 people were arrested in Corsica and on the continent. At the beginning of April, André Bacchiolelli and Mickaël Ettori, presented by Manuel Valls as the “pillars of the too famous band of the Petit Bar”are indicted for murder in an organized gang.

If the investigation seems smoothly conducted, it is without counting the years of contestation and cancellation of procedures, until the judgment, on October 3, of the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence which confirms the dismissal of three alleged members of the “Petit Bar” in front of the Bouches-du-Rhône assizes: Jacques Santoni, the alleged leader of the gang, described by justice as “the sponsor” and the “brain” of the assassination , is dismissed for complicity in intentional homicide; André Bacchiolelli is dismissed for assassination and Mickaël Ettori for association of criminals with a view to the preparation of crimes.
For the prosecution, the motive would be the rivalry between the “Petit Bar” and the Orsoni clan, against a backdrop of economic control over Corse-du-Sud.

Justice relied in particular on the declarations of Patrick Giovannoni, a “little hand” of the “Petit Bar” who obtained in 2015 the status of repentant and affirmed to have received the confidences of Jacques Santoni: “It is us who hit,” he reportedly said after the crime.

The trial date has not yet been set. Mickaël Ettori is on the run. As for the toxic influence of the criminal gang on the island, in particular its economy, it remains denounced on a daily basis.


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