In October 2019, the arrest of a false suspect at Glasgow airport will reignite the excitement around the case. MAXPPP – Alexis Sciard
Long-time friends, the two men undoubtedly saw each other in the south of France during the run of Dupont de Ligonnès. Xavier Puértolas, former police captain, is convinced that this was to prepare the suspect's disappearance and flight. The investigators did not pursue this lead.
"I believe that Michel Rétif met Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès in the south of France and that he helped him disappear. He was smart enough to keep a secret and for his best friend, we'd do anything!"
By evoking this intimate conviction, Romain Puértolas lets his heart as a police officer speak. But he bases this on disturbing facts written in black and white in the investigation reports included in his latest novel. Starting with this disturbing phone call on April 6, 2011, the evening of the murder, when Michel Rétif was the only one to contact the suspect between two periods of disconnection from his phone.
Strange dinner with an airplane pilot
Details already revealed by the investigation of Society, a few days later, from the 13th to the 15th. April, Michel Rétif, a salesman from Hérault, undertook a three-day trip to the Var when his friend was there. "We could no longer talk about coincidences" writes Romain Puértolas. Especially since the cell phones of the two men had been blocked several times in the same place and in the same time slot, notably on the morning of April 14 in Roquebrune-sur-Argens. The previous evening, Michel Rétif had dined in Cogolin with an airplane pilot who was a member of the Fayence-Tourrettes flying club, located 30 km away.
Simple interrogation without pressure
When the investigators make this connection, they will set up surveillance in front of Michel Rétif's home on April 25, ten days after the last known appearance of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. During his hearing by the Montpellier PJ, the Montpellier author again revealed that Michel Rétif would lie on several occasions, claiming for example to have dined on April 13 at the Mercure in Fréjus. He will plead the coincidence for the boundaries close to the cell phones with his friend and will assure that he has not seen him again.
The investigators will obviously not try to explore this further. "It’s not possible to let this pass, protests Romain Puértolas. Why were there no means of coercion on Michel Rétif ? I can't understand it…"< /p>
A suicide in 2018
Especially since, according to several sources, the two men had maintained a friendship that was both deep and unhealthy, notably when Michel Rétif had had Agnès, Xavier's wife, a affair which turned for a time into a menage a trois… The Lunelois will end his life in 2018 after learning that he was suffering from incurable cancer, taking his secret with him and that of his friend.
"I think Xavier is still alive"
During his last testimony in front of the camera, broadcast on the show C à vous, on France 5, on August 31, 2020, he declared: "I think Xavier is still alive . He would have had no interest in planning this scenario to go and die in the Var or elsewhere. He is someone who is discreet and charismatic, who can change his appearance and speak several languages without an accent. He could very well have gone abroad."
Conviction or confession ? Romain Puertola favors the thesis of an escape in a camper van or plane with the financial assistance and contacts of Michel Rétif: "It seems obvious to me. Until Roquebrune XDDL was trackable with his credit card. From there, not a trace. I think Michel Rétif told him to get rid of everything and that Ligonnès hadn't necessarily thought about it. And he helped him prepare for his departure."