Top French lawyer Olivier Metznerís body found near private island
2013-03-17 0:00

From: guardian.co.uk

French lawyer Olivier Metznerís body was found floating near his private island in Brittany. A suicide was reportedly found at his house.


Figure nicknamed the ígangstersí lawyerí, whose clients included Manuel Noriega, discovered near Brittany island of BoŽdic

One of the giants of the French legal system was found dead near his private island in Brittany on Sunday morning. A suicide note was discovered at his home nearby.

Olivier Metzner, 63, nicknamed the "gangstersí lawyer", was a larger-than-life figure known for his spirited defence of high-profile and controversial defendants including the Panamanian former dictator Manuel Noriega, the "rogue trader" JťrŰme Kerviel and Continental Airlines, accused of causing the catastrophic Concorde crash in 2000.

In recent years, he had argued for the former prime minister Dominique de Villepin in the Clearstream scandal, represented rock star Bertrand Cantat when he was accused of killing his actor girlfriend, and argued the case of FranÁoise Bettencourt-Meyers who tried to have her ailing mother, the the LíOrťal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, declared a ward of court.

Named Franceís most powerful lawyer by GQ magazine last year, Metzner was often to be seen standing at the top of the Palais de Justiceís monumental steps, puffing away on his trademark cigar. Occasionally, he would ignore the no-smoking signs and light up inside, confident that no court official or police officer would dare challenge him.

Outside the courts, where he would pick holes in legal procedure to get his clients off the hook, often in the most blunt of terms and so successfully that Libťration described him as the "criminal fraternityís specialist", Metzner was a discreet figure.

Born in 1949 to dairy farmers in Normandy, whose ancestors had fled Prussia in the late 19th century, Metzner described himself as the product of a modest but "rigorous Normand and Protestant education". All three Metzner children escaped the countryside; his brother became a scientist and his sister a teacher in Canada.

He chose law after devouring the works of Kafka and reading a story in his local paper about a shepherd who had been sentenced to death.

"He was from the mountains and incapable of explaining his defence in any understandable language. It made me want to be an interpreter for those who had difficult expressing themselves in front of the court and at the same time explain the justice system to them, because the incomprehension goes both ways," he once said.

After studying in Caen, he headed for Paris, saying two decades in the "damp countryside" was long enough, and a career that was rewarding in every sense. Decades after his first case, in which he successfully defended a thief, he admitted his hourly fee had risen to Ä450 (£390). His last case, last month, was defending the Swiss petrol group Vitol, accused of breaking the United Nations "food for oil" embargo in Saddam Husseinís Iraq.

Metzner never married and described himself as "leftwing at heart".

In 2010 he bought BoŽdic Island in the Morbihan Gulf in Brittany, which he described as a "magnificent, remarkable place". But at the end of last year he announced his intention to sell it, saying he had "more interesting plans". "I am a man of projects," he told AFP in November.

His body was found at about 10am on Sunday floating near the island.

Source: guardian.co.uk



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct
2015-07-04 3:55
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.” Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics. Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy
2015-07-04 3:48
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day. Source: youtube.com
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture
2015-07-04 3:33
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies. MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery. FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation. A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination. ‚ÄúUsing the same tactics used by ‚Äėgay‚Äô rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,‚ÄĚ writes Jack Minor ...
More News »