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The who, what, why, where and when of Jacqueline Sauvage

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The who, what, why, where and when of Jacqueline Sauvage


French President Francois Hollande has taken the unusual step of pardoning a woman who killed her husband after enduring decades of abuse.

Jacqueline Sauvage had been sentenced to ten years in prison.

Here Euronews goes through the who, what, why, where and when of the case which is making headlines across France.


Jacqueline Sauvage is a 68-year-old woman from Montargis in central France.

She has described her husband, Norbert Marot, as a violent alcoholic who, she claims, abused her for 47 years.

She also says he raped their daughters and abused their son, who later committed suicide.


The day after her son’s suicide in September 2012, Jacqueline Sauvage shot her husband three times in the back with his own hunting rifle, killing him.

In October 2014 she was found guilty of killing him and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jacqueline Sauvage argued that she had acted in self-defence. But the prosecutor decided that the shooting was not a proportionate response to a direct act of aggression.

The state rejected the self-defence plea and the conviction was upheld in December 2015.

Now French President Francois Hollande has waived the remaining prison sentence.

The decision does not quash Sauvage’s conviction. It does, however, take two years and five months off the minimum sentence of five years.


President Hollande is known to be reluctant to use the presidential pardon.

It has only been used once since his election in 2012.

An estimated 400,000 people signed a petition calling on the French President to intervene in the Sauvage case.

President Hollande met the three adult Sauvage daughters in Paris two days ago.


The family lived in Montargis in central France.


The sentence reduction means 68-year-old Sauvage will be able to leave jail in mid-April.

What they are saying

The clear majority of professional and popular reaction has been in favour of the president’s decision.

“In the face of an exceptional human situation, the president wanted to make it possible for Sauvage to return to her family as soon as possible.” – a statement from the French Presidency

“Our father has died and, for us, it is a relief.” : daughter of Jacqueline Sauvage.

“This sends a message, not only to Sauvage, but to all those women who are abused everywhere in France.” – a lawyer for Jacqueline Sauvage.

Reaction has been largely in support of Ms Sauvage. However, some commentators have voiced concerns.

The feeling is that the French justice system may have been compromised by the president effectively taking the law into his own hands.

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