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


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

Figure nicknamed the ’gangsters’ lawyer’, whose clients included Manuel Noriega, discovered near Brittany island of Boëdic

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 "gangsters’ 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" Jérôme 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 Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers who tried to have her ailing mother, the the L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, declared a ward of court.

Named France’s most powerful lawyer by GQ magazine last year, Metzner was often to be seen standing at the top of the Palais de Justice’s 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 Libération described him as the "criminal fraternity’s 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 €450 (£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 Hussein’s Iraq.

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

In 2010 he bought Boëdic 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.


Related Articles

Latest News from our Front Page

The Daily Shoah has been Shoah'd
2015-11-25 22:56
Editor's note: The PC corporate moral police strike again. Just as Radio 3Fourteen & Red Ice Radio were censored from iTunes, The Daily Shoah was pulled from Soundcloud today. As per usual, there is a double standard, they allow any kind of anti-White material: ... From: Soundcloud took it upon themselves to delete our account this morning. We'll figure something out, but in ...
Merkel Welcomes A Million More: Vows To Stand By Refugee Policy Despite Security Fears
2015-11-25 21:05
Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris. Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up ...
Paris Terrorist Was Gay 'Rent Boy', On The Run From Islamic State And Police
2015-11-25 20:16
The elusive eighth Paris attacker and one of three brothers implicated in the atrocity reportedly frequented gay clubs before the attack. He may have backed out of his mission at the last minute, and is possibly on the run from Islamic State as well as authorities. “We had him down as a rent boy, he was always hanging out with that ...
Norwegian school brutally kicks out students, reopens as immigration center
2015-11-25 1:46
A failing Norwegian school has brutally kicked out all of the students living there with just a few days notice to find somewhere else to live and study. It has now reopened as a reception center for immigrants. The school, called Waldorf, is in the Røyken municipality of Buskerud County. It had been failing for sometime, and was officially declared bankrupt ...
Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME?
2015-11-25 1:52
Youtube description: She says: "I have reached a boiling point with these lies about Islam! Please share it, don't let me waste my breath....go to for a translation of the ISIS website along with other great articles and podcasts!" Source:
More News »