Crime & Justice

Police chief at Bataclan attack: I try to focus on the positives

By Antonio Torres del Cerro

Paris, Sep 8 (EFE).- Police chief Christophe Molmy was haunted by the horrifying scenes that unfolded at the Bataclan theater during the terror attacks on 13 November 2015 in Paris but found that focusing on the lives he saved has helped him cope with the ordeal.

Molmy, 57, who led the police response at the Bataclan as head of the Research and Investigation Brigades unit of the National Police, is set to testify in the historic trial against the 20 suspects accused of carrying out or abetting the coordinated attacks that killed 130 people, including 90 at the venue in the French capital.

The trial got underway at a specially-constructed courthouse on Wednesday and a verdict is expected in May 2022.

“I’m calm, first I will focus on explaining what we did,” Molmy, whose testimony is due on September 22, told Efe in an interview.

He is preparing for a tough cross-examination that at times could throw up controversial questions on why police did not intervene in the Bataclan concert hall earlier.

During his career, Molmy has had to learn how to separate his emotions from his work.

This served him at the Bataclan, as it had done with a previous Islamist attack on the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket on January 9, 2015, an operation that concluded in just five minutes.

“We had a hard time, but it’s about being able to distance oneself from the victims. You have to condition yourself.

“We do it instinctively, like doctors for example. We cannot stop and let ourselves be overwhelmed when we see dead people, or wounded victims asking you for help. You have to keep your distance.”

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