French prosecutors have called for the trial of 14 people over the beheading of schoolteacher Samuel Paty by an Islamic extremist in 2020, a crime that shocked France, a source close to the case told AFP on Friday.
The most serious charges — complicity in a terrorist murder — have been recommended for two friends of the Chechen refugee who murdered teacher Samuel Paty after he showed pictures of the Prophet Mohammed to his pupils.
Paty was targeted after messages spread on social media that he had shown cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to his class.
The 47-year-old history and geography teacher had used the magazine as part of an ethics class to discuss free speech laws in France, which does not criminalize blasphemy.
The national terror crime prosecutor’s office has also recommended charges against six other adults and six children for alleged offences linked to the killing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
A 15-year-old girl, who allegedly told her parents that Paty had shown caricatures of the prophet in class, will be tried before a children’s court. She will be charged with false accusation. Investigators have established that she never attended the course in which the caricatures were used.
Five other minors, aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the attack, will be charged with membership of a gang planning violence, which is an offence, not a crime, under French law.
They are suspected of having pointed out the victim to the murderer. Two of them are believed to have been paid for the information.
The murderer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police at the scene.
Prosecutors believe his friends, named Azim Epsirkhanov and Naim Boudaoud, in the investigation, accompanied Anzorov to buy a knife and Naim. B, travelled with him to the school.
Investigating magistrates will make the final call on whether to charge the suspects and send them to trial.
The 47-year-old history and geography teacher had used the magazine as part of an ethics class to discuss free speech laws in France, which does not criminalise blasphemy.