A poacher, dubbed ’The Klaus Barbie of the Mercantour’ has been sentenced to 2 years prison (18 months suspended) and fined 211,000 euros after a spree in the Mercantour and Ecrins national parks where he killed 262 chamois.
Gilbert Olivier, a 62-year-old former school teacher, was said to be suffering from depression after retirement. Tracked over a period of three years by park rangers; when his house was finally raided police found an impressive arsenal comprising 20,000 rifle shells, 30 rifles including a powerful 22LR pistol equipped with a silencer and telescopic site. Unfortunately for the man they also found a detailed logbook with records of the kills plus various trophies.
Hunted almost to extinction before the creation of first French national parks in the 1950s the chamois is a protected species. Hunting is strictly regulated and illegal in national parks. The man killed the chamois for pleasure, taking only scalps as trophies. The comparison with Klaus Barbie is somewhat extreme. Barbie was the head of the Gestapo in Lyon. His victims were either tortured to death or sent to Nazi extermination camps. However it serves as a comparison with the sentence of Maurice Papon. Papon, a French government official, who served just four years for crimes against humanity after sending over 4,000 Jews to concentration camps.