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the anesthetist from Besançon targeted by eight new cases of poisoning

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A new twist. The list continues to grow for the anesthesiologist of Besançon, Frédéric Péchier, already indicted for 24 poisonings which he has always denied. This time, he is suspected of eight new cases of potential poisoning of patients, including four fatalities. The public prosecutor Étienne Manteaux announced on Tuesday September 27 that he had added these new cases to the investigation file opened in 2017 during this month.

32 cases of potential poisoning, including 13 fatalities

“The investigating judge is therefore now seized of a total of 32 cases of potential poisoning, including 13 fatal”, which occurred during operations in two private clinics in Besançon between 2008 and 2016, he notes. “The investigating magistrate is now waiting for all the results of the ongoing expertise, expected for January 2023, to be returned to hear Dr Péchier, then decide whether to indict him for these eight new cases”, he said. added. The case began when an anesthesiologist at the Saint-Vincent Clinic in Besançon sounded the alarm after three unexplained cardiac arrests of her patients in full operation. The infusion bags had been seized and analyzes had revealed “potassium doses 100 times higher than normal”, recalls the prosecutor.

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In January 2017, a judicial investigation was opened and in March, Frédéric Péchier, who worked in this clinic, was indicted and placed under judicial supervision for the first seven cases of alleged poisoning of patients.

The direction of the clinic had then presented to the investigators of the judicial police of Besançon 66 cases of SAE (serious adverse event) occurring in their establishment. These investigations led, in May 2019, to the indictment of Dr. Péchier for 17 new cases of poisoning, i.e. a total of 24 cases concerning patients aged four to 80, including nine fatalities. The anesthetist is suspected of having polluted the infusion bags of patients of his colleagues to cause cardiac arrest, before intervening by demonstrating his talents as a resuscitator, but also to discredit colleagues from Besançon clinics with whom he was in contact. conflict.

Frédéric Péchier proclaims his innocence

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Placed under judicial control in Vienne, far from his wife and children, Frédéric Péchier, 50, has never ceased to proclaim his innocence since the start of the case. Investigators from the Besançon judicial police continued the preliminary investigation into the SAEs reported by the Saint-Vincent clinic. These investigations and the appointment in May 2021 of a new expert made it possible to identify the eight new cases of suspected poisoning, for which four bodies had to be exhumed.

To advance the investigation, the Ministry of Justice, “aware of the challenges of this case”, assigned an assistant specializing in medicine to the investigating judge for a period of 18 months. A decision taken “to allow him to benefit from the expertise of a forensic doctor”, notes Étienne Manteaux.

“He is bad”

“I have the impression that we have been piling up the cases since the start of this affair. As if by adding cases it brought what was missing in this file from the start: a single piece of evidence against Doctor Péchier”, reacted his lawyer, Me Randall Schwerdorffer, shortly after the prosecutor’s conference. “Doctor Péchier has not been heard by the examining magistrate for almost 1,200 days,” continued the council. “The prosecution is doing its little file on its own, without Doctor Péchier, without any contradiction (…) to demonstrate that it is he who would be guilty. That’s the problem with the file: we are not looking for the culprit , we want to prove that it’s Doctor Péchier, and we can’t.”

A year ago, in September 2021, the anesthesiologist attempted to commit suicide by defending himself. He had sent a message to his mother: “I want this life to end, I want to die innocently”. “He is doing badly, psychologically it is extremely difficult, he has not worked for six years, he has no income, he has been separated from his family, he no longer lives at home. but with his parents”, continued Mr. Schwerdorffer. “The consequences of the slowness of this investigation procedure are destructive. I am very worried for the physical and mental health of Doctor Péchier.”

Source: Europe1

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