fourteen people, including six teenagers, sent to trial

Anti-terrorism investigating judges ordered, Tuesday, May 16, that fourteen people be tried following the ination of Samuel Paty, learned Agence France-Presse (AFP). On October 16, 2020, the 47-year-old teacher had been stabbed and then beheaded near his college, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), by Abdouallakh Anzorov, a Russian refugee of Chechen origin. This radicalized Islamist was shot dead by the police.

The 18-year-old accused the history and geography teacher of having shown in cl, during a lesson on freedom of expression, caricatures of Muhammad. In an audio message, he had claimed his gesture, congratulating himself on having “Avenged the Prophet”.

This attack takes place in a particular context, “While the trial of the January 2015 attacks, committed in particular within the premises of Charlie Hebdo (…) and in the context of very high terrorist threats in France”, underline the investigating judges in the indictment order to which AFP had access. Two other attacks took place during this period, at the beginning of September in front of the former premises of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and end of October at the basilica of Nice.

For magistrates, [M.] Anzorov, already steeped in violence from a young age (…)radicalized strongly in the summer of 2020”. At the time of his act he was “driven by conviction” that Mr. Paty had “imposed on the sight of his young pupils (…) at least one of the caricatures of the Prophet published by the newspaper Charlie Hebdo ». For judges, the ” mobile “ of the ailant was thus “revenge for an offense he felt had been done to his Prophet, which deserved a death sentence on the professor, desired by his god and his religion”.

Six adults in pre-trial detention

For this act which had caused a huge stir in France and abroad, the investigating magistrates ask that the heaviest offence, “complicity in terrorist ination”, be retained for two friends of Mr. Anzorov, Azim Epsirkhanov and Naïm Boudaoud, who had accompanied him to buy weapons. The second had also transported it to the college of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

Three other people had been indicted for “complicity in murder”: Brahim Chnina, father of the schoolgirl at the origin of the controversy, for having lied about the content of a course which she had not attended, the Islamist activist Abdelhakim Sefrioui, author of videos on social networks that had stirred up controversy, and Priscilla Mangel, a woman convert to Islam linked on Twitter with the in in the days before the attack. For these three people, as for three other adults implicated to varying degrees, the anti-terrorism judges are asking for a trial at the izes but for a less serious offense, “criminal terrorist ociation”, according to the order. To date, six of the eight adults involved in the case are still in pre-trial detention.

The magistrates also order a separate trial before the juvenile court for five teenagers, aged 14 and 15 at the time of the events, accused of having carried out surveillance around the college and of having appointed Mr. Paty to the ‘ailant. They will have to appear for the offense of “criminal ociation with a view to preparing aggravated violence”. They were previously targeted by the offense of “complicity in terrorist ination”. The magistrates also order that the daughter of Brahim Chnina appear before the juvenile court for “slanderous denunciation”. In their order, the magistrates emphasize that the judicial inquiry “stumbled upon the deletion and erasure by all of the respondents of their data and social network applications (…) immediately after the commission of the facts”.

Before his ination, the professor had felt “a deep concern (…) in the face of the scale and aggressiveness of the controversy” which targeted him, according to a summary report at the end of the investigation. Contacted on Tuesday, Mr. Paty’s family lawyers did not react immediately. Part of the family has filed a complaint against the ministries of the interior and national education, accused of not having taken sufficient account of the danger. A separate investigation has been open in Paris since April 2022.

The World with AFP

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