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Ongoing murder trial of Frenchman Thomas Débâtisse Witness Denis Marie cross-examined |22 February 2022

Denis Marie, an employee of SS Guard under contract with Club Med Seychelles, was a witness yesterday before the Supreme Court in the murder trial of Frenchman Thomas Débâtisse.

Mr Débatisse is being tried for the murder of his girlfriend Emmanuelle Badibanga on April 27, 2021 at the Club Med Seychelles on Ste Anne island.

Prosecution lawyer Hemanth Kumar was the first to question Mr Marie on his whereabouts on April 27, 2021. In a video footage shown, the witness identified himself and a fitness instructor on a grass field before a family pool.

Mr Marie accounted that on that day around 6.05pm he came from the direction of the security kiosk to discuss about a possible noise pollution caused by loud music. He established that he saw the deceased, Emmanuelle Badibanga, on the phone under the veranda. He claimed that after a while he saw Débâtisse with the deceased under the same verandah, talking. This was before 7pm.

The witness identified the same woman in the same attire, a black dress, in another footage walking along a path while he was on his way to see an alarm incident which had arisen. He identified her as the same person who was under the verandah. Further in the same footage, Mr Marie certified that the man walking along the path was the same man under the verandah with the woman. He explained that he was wearing the same clothes, which enabled him to identify the person in the video.

Mr Marie added that he finished work around 7.30pm to board the boat and left his station at 7.15pm. The witness said that while on the boat to Mahé he saw a boat speeding towards Ste Anne island.

In his cross examination, lawyer of the accused, Basil Hoareau, asked whether the man Mr Marie had seen was acting strange or suspicious.

Mr Marie said the person was not exhibiting any strange behaviour.

Asked how many times he had seen the man in the footage, Mr Marie stated he saw him twice, heading towards the room once, then walking away from the room in a rush the second time.

The witness added that from inside the security kiosk he could not see or hear any confrontation between the two individuals. He confirmed that he attended to an incident in one of the rooms and some time later from the video footage he was discussing with the fitness instructor regarding the loud music. Mr Marie noted that at 4.44pm he had witnessed a person in a red shirt walking towards the room. In his previous statement, Mr Marie affirmed that he crossed path with the individual.

Examining further, attorney Hoareau established by video evidence that at 5.48pm Mr Marie walked away from the security kiosk and returned sometime later.

Mr Marie stated that he saw the person rushing away from the room without anything in hand; however in the video footage presented to the jury, Mr Marie acknowledged that the man was carrying a bag. The defence pointed out that some of the statements given by the witness are mixed up in terms of sequence of events.

In a previous statement, according to the defence attorney, Mr Marie claimed that he could see the rooms from the reception area, and according to the defence it is impossible for the witness to see the rooms from there.

Defence attorney Hoareau also added that the accused could not have been seen in the vicinity of the room at 5.48pm as he was at the reception painting.

The cross examination of witnesses will continue this morning.


Marla Simeon




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