Pascal Garbarini, lawyer for the Petit Bar gang, facing the judges

More than four years of sound system and dozens of hours of intercepted conversations, around twenty indictments in the context of a judicial investigation opened in 2018 at the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Marseille for aggravated money laundering, non-justification resources and criminal association. At the end of these investigations, the judges suspect the criminal lawyer Pascal Garbarini of having exceeded his role of adviser by establishing close ties with Jacques Santoni, the alleged leader of the Petit Bar gang, a team of Corsican thugs.

Heard on June 14 in first appearance in the offices of judges Anaïs Trubuilt and Thomas Hirth, the Parisian criminal lawyer, historical lawyer of the Petit Bar gang which, for nearly twenty years, has imposed itself within organized crime in the sector of Ajaccio, is indicted for “participation in a criminal association with a view to the preparation of an offense” and placed under judicial supervision.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Petit Bar case: Pascal Garbarini, historical lawyer of the Corsican gang, indicted for “criminal association”

The report of this interrogation, of which The world took notice, fills 59 pages. From the outset, Pascal Garbarini protested: “To suggest that I would participate in an organized agreement is completely unacceptable and contributes to the decision to deprive Jacques Santoni of an elementary right which is the choice of his lawyer. »

“I do not distribute any envelopes”

According to the judges, the relationship between the lawyer and his client falls within the scope of complicity in the criminal sense of the term. They want as proof several conversations intercepted at the Parisian home of Santoni in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, conversations in which the name of the lawyer appears. While recalling the professional secrecy supposed to protect the exchanges between a lawyer and his client, Pascal Garbarini specifies to the two judges that he will not use “this secrecy only when it is not necessary for the exercise of his defence”.

According to the magistrates, Pascal Garbarini would not have put enough distance vis-à-vis Jacques Santoni, whom he has defended since 2003. Moreover, they point out, “Jacques Santoni, in this office a few weeks ago, said you were his friend (…). Isn’t it a complicated situation and even strongly discouraged to be the lawyer of your friend? »

“Jacques Santoni considers me his friend, I take note of it, emphasizes Garbarini (…). As far as I’m concerned, Jacques Santoni is not part of my social circle. » And to continue: “The profession of lawyer is a difficult profession. It is particularly so for criminal lawyers. I note that the exercise of our mission as a lawyer is proving increasingly complex to exercise since certain judicial authorities consider that the lawyer is an accomplice of his client and that he does not have the stature and the positioning to maintain its independence. By dint of considering that criminal lawyers are necessarily at one time or another, too close to their client, it will end up in the fact that more and more lawyers will refuse to provide defense in organized crime. »

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