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Six French teenagers on trial over teacher's murder

GreenWatch Desk Crime 2023-11-27, 10:46pm

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Six French teenagers accused of complicity in the murder of a teacher will go on trial today.

The children were aged between 13 and 15 at the time of the killing of Samuel Paty in 2020 at the hands of a Chechen refugee.

The suspects are accused of slander and pointing out the teacher to the killer at the school.

They face a maximum of 2.5 years in prison.

Mr Paty was stabbed and beheaded on 16 October 2020 after reportedly showing students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression.

The youngest suspect was 13 years old at the time of the killing. She was suspended from school nine days before Mr Paty's murder - for reasons unrelated to the case.

She is alleged to have untruthfully told her father that she had been disciplined for having confronted Mr Paty over an alleged request for Muslim students to leave the class.

She had in fact been absent from the class in question. Nonetheless, her father posted videos on social media calling for Mr Paty to be fired.

Prosecutors believe these videos prompted 18-year-old Chechen Abdoullakh Anzorov to travel around 80km (50 miles) from Normandy to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris, to commit the murder.

The other five suspects in the case are alleged to have helped Anzorov identify Mr Paty at the school in exchange for a €300 (£260) payment. One said Anzorov told him that he wanted to film Mr Paty apologising for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

A second trial will open next year for eight adults also accused of complicity in the murder. These include Brahim Chnina, the father of the 13-year-old girl on trial.

Prosecutors have accused two friends of Anzorov of "complicity in a terrorist murder", the most serious crime of the case. One man is accused of accompanying Anzorov to buy weapons, the other of driving him to the school where Mr Paty taught on the day of the murder, reports BBC.