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25.03.2019 Europe

Merah's brother and 'mentor' faces special Paris appeals court

By Zeenat Hansrod - RFI
AFP/File / by Pierre ROCHICCIOLI and Clare BYRNE
MAR 25, 2019 EUROPE
AFP/File / by Pierre ROCHICCIOLI and Clare BYRNE

The appeals trial of Abdelkader Merah, the brother of Mohamed Merah, opened at the Special Court in Paris. The prosecution and the families of the victims want harsher punishment for Merah who was handed-down a 20-year jail sentence in 2017.

In March 2012, Mohamed Merah killed three soldiers and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse.

He claimed to be acting on behalf of Al Qaeda and died, 31 March 2012, after a violent 32 hour siege.

The brother Abdelkader Merah was arrested shortly afterwards. On November 2017, the special court in Paris found him guilty of being part of a terrorist organisation for which he was sentenced to 20-years imprisonment. He was cleared of complicity in the murders.

Fettah Malki is also facing trial. He was sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2017 for selling an arm and a bullet-proof vest to Merad while being aware of his intentions.

The prosecution and families of the victims appealed because they said that the sentences were too lenient. They requested the maximum punishment, that is life imprisonment.

The prosecution described Abdelkader Merah as his brother's mentor and said that he helped radicalising his younger brother. But Merah always denied helping his brother Mohamed to prepare the attacks.

Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the mother of the first victim, said that she expects more dignified debates this time.

“I am waiting for the truth and that justice be delivered. [The last trial] was a painful process,” she said.

The appeal hearing is due to finsihed on April 19.

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