While Loïk Le Priol and his two accomplices have been arrested and prosecuted for the murder of former Biarritz Olympique player Federico Martin Aramburu, the puzzle of the night of drama is slowly being put together.
Federico Martín Aramburu, Argentine rugby player and former Biarritz Olympique player, was shot dead on March 19 in Paris, after a violent altercation. Since then, the stir caused by this violent death has given way to the investigation, and the three main suspects in the murder have been arrested and prosecuted. Little by little, the details of this extraordinary affair are revealed. Let’s go back to the sequence of events.
“If I could, I would have punched him to death”
On March 19, 2022, around 5:30 am, Federico Martin Aramburu, accompanied by his friends, ended a night of celebration at the “le Mabillon” bar. The establishment is located on the boulevard Saint-Germain, in the 6th district of Paris, not far from the famous “rue de la soif”, the other name of the rue Princesse. Aramburu then had one last drink with his close friend, Shaun Hegarty, also a former Biarritz Olympique player.
At the same time, Loïk Le Priol, a figure on the extreme right, shares a table in the same establishment with a group of activists. According to Me Yann Le Bras, the lawyer for the Aramburu family quoted by southwest, a young man asks a group of far-right youth for a cigarette. Loïk Le Priol and his friends refuse “in a somewhat vindictive way (…) even humiliating”. Instantly, Federico Martin Aramburu and Shaun Hegarty point out to the group that “you shouldn’t talk to people like that.”
From this simple comment a brawl of rare violence is born. Loïk Le Priol attacks Aramburu, hitting and insulting him. The altercation is so loud that many residents of the bar, woken up by the screams, watch the scene from their windows. According to a witness, Aramburu was thrown to the ground and suffered an onslaught of violence. “He is so violent, determined (…) if he could have punched him to death, he would have punched him to death,” he says in the columns of The team. Though separated by bar security, Loïck Le Priol continues to tirelessly insult the player and yell insanity, including a very audible “Your mother the p***!”
Five bullets in the body
After this attack, Aramburu and Hegarty decide to leave the bar and walk back to the hotel where they are staying. The two men walk for a few minutes along Boulevard Saint-Germain. Around 6:15 am, at the intersection of rue de Seine and boulevard Saint-Germain, a green Jeep catches up with them. The windows roll down, shots are fired. Six balls in total. Five touch Federico Aramburu, who collapses. The Jeep starts up again with a rumble.
Despite resuscitation attempts, the Argentine rugby player died of his injuries, along with his friend Hegarty, who sustained more minor injuries. Immediately the criminal squad opens a murder investigation.
Three people are then sought: two men, perpetrators of the shots and a woman, who was driving the Jeep at the time of the events. Very quickly, the police identify Loïk Le Priol, known unfavorably to the police as a former far-right activist with ultraviolent behaviour.
the hunt is on
On March 19, when Arramburu was killed that same morning, a 24-year-old woman was arrested and detained at the end of the day. This is Loïk Le Priol’s girlfriend. The young woman is suspected of being the driver of the vehicle that transported the shooters. She denies any involvement of her partner in the case.
At the same time, the hunt for the alleged murderer and his accomplice intensifies. The latter would be Romain Bouvier, another extreme right-wing activist. The media took over the case, the face of Loïk Le Priol is everywhere. France discovers the identity of a dangerous man, already involved in investigations for acts of aggravated violence.
His portrait is overwhelming: the 27-year-old is a former Navy commando, an active member of the GUD (Union Defense Group), already known in numerous cases of violence linked to his radicalism, which earned him an S for part of the DGSI. (General Directorate of Internal Security).
According to an article in street press, the man, a white supremacist, is a “gun mould” with a charged record, placed under judicial supervision since 2015 after having participated in the attack on Edouard Klein, a violently beaten and tortured former GUD leader. Because of this case of extreme violence, he was prohibited from appearing in Paris and from contacting Romain Bouvier. A European arrest warrant is then issued against him.
Arrest in Hungary
On the night of March 22-23, while trying to reach Ukraine, Loïk Le Priol was arrested in Hungary at the Zahony border post. Repatriated to France, he was tried on March 25 for “murder and possession of weapons”. Me Xavier Nogueras, Le Priol’s lawyer, asks that the court’s decision be debated behind closed doors due to “the explicit death threats from, in particular, people who claim to be from the Basque community, the extreme left and the ‘far left'” .
The day after this accusation, on March 26, Federico Martin Aramburu was buried in Biarritz. The ceremony, broadcast on a screen in front of the Sainte-Eugénie church, brought together more than a thousand people. The former teammates of the rugby player carry his coffin in front of a moved crowd. On this occasion, the Argentine flag is hoisted on the façade of the Town Hall.
During his interrogation before the judge, Le Priol recognizes the murder as “a tragedy”, according to his lawyer. He is in pretrial detention on April 1. Romain Bouvier is also charged for the same charges and incarcerated in La Santé prison in Paris. The young woman, meanwhile, was charged with “complicity in homicide”.