A self-proclaimed "Repentant" of the Corsican criminal gang of the Sea Breeze, Claude Chossat was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday by the Assize Court of Bouches-du-Rhône for complicity in the murder in 2008 of Richard Casanova, one of the barons of this gang.
Fifteen years had been required against him.
Former handyman Francis Mariani, one of the "godfathers" of the Sea Breeze, Claude Chossat, 42, was not considered by the jury as the author of this murder he had always denied after nine days of trial and five and a half hours of deliberations.
A decision "that is not neutral"
Edouard Martial, one of Claude Chossat's four lawyers, praised a decision "which is not neutral, which recognizes that (his client) is not a murderer, that he has no blood on his hands" . The decision to appeal or not this verdict will be made in consultation with Claude Chossat, depending on how the sentence can be arranged.
"My legs are cut, it is a feeling of desolation," lamented Sandrine Chossat, the wife of the accused. "Tonight I'm going home alone and being alone with my two daughters, without their father," she continued, saying she was angry at a verdict that she said was sending the wrong signal. "In Corsica people stand up against the mafia, but with a decision like that, no Corsican will want to talk," she said, referring to the status of "repentant" claimed by her husband, who has assured in particular before the court has allowed the arrest of "at least 45 people" through his statements to the police since his arrest in Switzerland in 2009.
The second accused, 45-year-old David Taddei, accused of providing a lot of weapons to Mariani, whose future crime weapon, was released.