A court in Melun in the South of France has caused outraged this week by refusing to release Jacqueline Sauvage from prison.
Sauvage, 68, was convicted of murdering her husband in December 2014. The crime in question happened in September 2012, when Sauvage took her husband’s rifle and shot him three times in the back. She was sentenced to ten years in prison for the crime.
Sauvage alleged throughout the lengthy trial that her husband Norbert Marot had violently abused her for a period of 50 years. She also alleged that he had raped and beaten their three daughters and abused their son, the Independent reports.
After her sentencing caused public outcry, a viral petition gained some 400,000 signatures campaigning for her release. Politicians from both side of French parliament pressed for President Francoise Hollande to overturn the decision. The campaign received a further boost when President Hollande’s first wife, journalist Valérie Trierweiler, added her voice to the numbers calling upon the President to grant Sauvage an official pardon.
And in January this year that’s exactly what President Hollande did, waiving the remainder of Sauvage’s 10 year sentence. “In the face of an exceptional human situation, the president wanted to make it possible for Madame Savage to quickly return to her family while respecting judicial authorities,” a spokesperson for the President said at the time.
But the Melun court system has refused to grant bail to Sauvage this week, arguing that the decision to release her would frame her as a victim “given the support around her and the media coverage,” AP reports.
Both the lawyers for the defence and prosecution have expressed outrage at this decision, with Sauvage’s legal team (above) in particular telling reporters that they were “in shock”.
The prosecution legal team will appeal the decision.