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The trial of Jean-Claude Arnault, thorny mission for Swedish justice

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, lawyer of the alleged victim of French Jean-Claude Arnault, on September 19th in Stockholm

Seven years after the alleged events, the woman who accuses the French of rapes relies on a series of testimonials to support his claims.

The first big trial of the #metoo era opened Wednesday, September 19 in Stockholm. It is held in camera and will last three days. On the dock: a 72-year-old Frenchman, unknown in his country of origin, but a celebrity in Sweden since the revelations of the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN), in autumn 2017, at the origin of the scandal that has annihilated the Swedish Academy and resulted in the postponement of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 which it awarded.

Eighteen women then accuse Jean-Claude Arnault, a figurehead of the Swedish cultural scene and husband of the poet and academician Katarina Frostenson, of rape and sexual assault. In the wake, eight complain. Since then, seven have been dismissed, the facts denounced being prescribed or the evidence deemed insufficient. There remains only one woman, whose complaint is at the origin of the trial. Her identity was not revealed, but she claims to have been raped twice by the Frenchman in the fall of 2011.

According to the court record that Le Monde was able to consult, the first rape took place on the night of October 5 to 6, 2011. They meet at a vernissage, go to dinner and then join his bachelor in a neighborhood in Stockholm. She is initially consenting, before he is violent and forces her to pursue an “oral report” against her will, then to a vaginal penetration while she is in a state of “shock” and ” fear panic. Facts that are repeated in the night of December 2 to 3, 2011, in the same apartment, while she sleeps.

“Tender” and “loving” relationships

Between the two nights, and during the following weeks, he calls her regularly. She claims to have been afraid that “he will become his enemy” and “destroy his career”. He never directly threatens her, but speaks to him about “his plans to destroy others who have accused him.” So…

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