Seven people brought before a judge over beheading of teacher in French


Seven people, including two minors, were handed over to a judge overnight to launch a judicial investigation and possible charges in last week’s murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, an official from the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said.

Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 in daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb of an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot dead the attacker.

Investigators say the teenager had tried to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on free speech. Muslims believe that any portrayal of the Prophet is blasphemous.

A school parent who had posted a video accusing the teacher of using the caricatures in class was among the seven presented to the judge.

Richard Ferrand, chairman of the lower house of parliament and a former teacher, told BFM-TV that parents should “stay out of schools and leave teachers alone. Full authority should be given back to teachers.”

Prosecutors have said the attacker had approached students outside the school asking them to identify Paty when he went home.

Two of these students were among those presented to the judge, as was the Islamist militant Abdelhakim Sefrioui of the Cheikh Yassine collective, whose closure could be decided later in the day by the French cabinet.

The assassination shocked France and echoed the attack five years ago in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after the magazine also published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Public figures called Pathy’s killing an attack on the republic and on French values.

The French regional newspaper La Nouvelle Republique has received threats on social media after it published a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed on the front page, one of its journalists said on Wednesday.

A national tribute in honor of Paty will be held at the Sorbonne University in Paris on Wednesday.

( Jowharwith AFP and REUTERS)