Gilles Bertin, figure of the French punk of the 1980s, robber repented after 30 years of racing, died Thursday in Barcelona, according to his lawyer.
"He died this morning, after being hospitalized for several days in Barcelona," Christian Etelin, the 58-year-old musician and robber's lawyer told AFP.
Five years in prison suspended
With a dozen musicians friends, the former leader of the group Camera Silens had stolen 11.7 million francs (the equivalent at the time of 2.9 million euros) to Brink's. In 2018, Gilles Bertin was sentenced to five years in prison suspended for the robbery of a bank in 1988. Aids patient, he had surrendered himself in 2016.
"He had done all this to find a normal social existence: he wanted to speak, to assume his role of father and to assume his past, to be able to talk to his son Tiago about what he had been, he did not want to invent a character", explains Me Etelin, a Toulouse lawyer who defended him during his trial in the Assize Court of Haute-Garonne.
The old punk lived in Barcelona for several years with his partner Cecilia and his son Tiago, 7 years old. He had another son in his 30s, Loris, living in Bordeaux, whom he only knew at the time of his surrender.
"He was fine, intelligent, he had managed to find peace in himself, after the turmoil of his existence, he was very cultured, he had shown great responsibility," says the lawyer.
A repentant punk and never imprisoned
After the decision of the Assize Court in 2018, he used to say "Justice did not judge me for what I did 30 years ago but for what I have become", relates Me Etelin, "He had become an honest man, interesting as he has evolved".
Tall and thin, gray shirt on jeans, light brown hair and curly, the ex-punk, blind in one eye, did not want to lie about his history and his past and wanted to find his life, his sister.
During his 28 years on the run, Gilles Bertin lived in Portugal and Barcelona. He was never imprisoned for robbery. During his trial, he had acknowledged being one of the organizers with Didier Bachère (death) of the robbery they had prepared together for two years.
The flight had been carried out without the slightest shot. The perpetrator had used a disguise of gendarmes and a Renault 4, car of the gendarmes at the time. It was such a success that this work was first attributed to organized crime. Most of the loot has never been found.