Saturday, March 09, 2013

50 Years Ago: Plotters Who Tried to Kill de Gaulle on Trial

February 4:
1963 Plane Ready to Bomb Elysée
PARIS — The man who led the machine-gun attack on President Charles de Gaulle last August said yesterday [Feb. 2] there were pilots ready to bomb the Elysée Palace, his official residence, or his country home at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises had they really wanted to kill him. Former Lt. Col. Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry, an American-trained guided-missile technician, made the disclosure in the sixth day of the trial of 15 men accused of trying to kill Gen. de Gaulle Aug. 22. Bastien-Thiry said the anti-Gaullist National Resistance Council (CNR) which planned the attempt had two choices: a summary execution, or putting Gen. de Gaulle out of the way by an “arrest.” 
1963 De Gaulle’s Son-in-Law Tells of Shots
PARIS — The special military court trying 15 men accused of attempting to kill President Charles de Gaulle last August today [Feb. 13] heard testimony from his son-in-law describing the Chief of State’s dash to safety through a hail of machine-gun bullets. Col. Alain de Boissieu, who occasionally acts as his father-in-law’s aide-de-camp, said: “I heard gunfire and saw bullets ricocheting. ‘Step on it,’ I told the chauffeur. I asked the general and Mrs. de Gaulle to duck. They didn’t obey immediately. Then I saw that the window nearest Gen. de Gaulle was broken.”
March 4:
1963 The Plot to Kill de Gaulle
PARIS — Three ringleaders in the machine-gun attack against President Charles de Gaulle last summer were sentenced to death tonight [March 4] by a special military court. The condemned men are Lt. Col. Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry, 35, Lt. Alain de Bougrenet de la Tocnave, 37, and Jacques Prevost, 31. All 14 men on trial were found guilty of participating in the attempt to assassinate Gen. de Gaulle Aug. 22. However, five defendants were tried in absentia, and by law, their cases must be reconsidered before a court if they are captured. Three of the men tried in absentia were also condemned to death. The other sentences ranged from three to 15 years in prison.