Yesterday, during the first reading of the indictment, we learned how, little by little, 21-year-old French national Sophie Lionnet became the prisoner, the slave, and finally an object of her employers, who are both of French-Algerian background.
Reporters have viewed videos that were made by the couple only a few hours before Lionnet’s death. They tried to make her confess to imaginary crimes by torturing her, conducting interrogations. In the videos, the woman appears “terrified, defenseless, and eager to confess what her executioners wanted, but without really understanding what they expected of her.” The videos will be released to the public today.
The accused have been appearing in court since Monday. On September 20, the charred remains of Lionnet’s body were found in their garden in southwest London.
In their first hearing, back in December, the co-defendants should have pleaded guilty or not guilty, as provided by law. However, nothing went as planned during this session: Ouissem Medouni was not presented to the Court, and Sabrina Kouider has only appeared since her imprisonment via video conference, but she did not offer her plea. In addition to the first charge of murder, however, the judiciary decided to add the charge of concealment of a crime
It was during a second hearing in January that the couple announced that they would plead guilty to obstructing justice for trying to dispose of the body by burning it. As the British authorities have not yet revealed any details about the circumstances of the au pair’s death, Medouni and Kouider have decided to plead not guilty.