26.11.2020 Europe

Four more students charged in France over teacher's beheading

By Michael Fitzpatrick - RFI
LISTEN NOV 26, 2020

Four more students have been charged in connection with the killing of high school teacher Samuel Paty, including three who allegedly pointed out the teacher to his murderer.

Earlier this month, three other pupils were charged with complicity over the 16 October beheading of Paty, who had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a lesson on free speech.

Three of the four students charged on Thursday were suspected of identifying Paty to his killer, 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, who then tracked him down and beheaded him in a street near his school.

Anzorov, who was killed by police at the scene of the murder, paid the students a few hundred euros for their help.

The three, who are between 13 and 14 years old, have been charged with "complicity in a terrorist murder", the source said.

The fourth person arrested is the daughter of Brahim Chnina, who launched a virulent online campaign against Paty denouncing the teacher's use of the cartoons published by the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Charge of 'slanderous denunciation'

Chnina himself, along with Islamist militant Abdelhakim Sefrioui, who was also involved in the internet campaign, have already been charged with complicity.

Chnina's daughter is accused of "slanderous denunciation" of Paty after relating her version of events in the classroom, though she did not actually attend his civics lesson.

Father and daughter reported Paty to police for "discrimination" just over a week before the murder, alleging that he had singled out Muslim students by asking them to leave the room before showing the cartoons.

Other witnesses have reported that Paty in fact said students were free to leave the room if they did not want to see the cartoons, one of which showed the prophet without any clothes.

The latest charges take the total number of people being investigated in connection with the murder to 14.

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