Abdelkader Merah to be Charged with Complicity in Toulouse Killings
(Photo via le Journal du Dimanche Twitter feed Saturday, since removed)
Abdelkader Merah, brother of Mohamed Maher, who was killed in a police raid in Toulouse after confessing to the killing of Jewish students and their teacher and three French soldiers, was brought before a judge at the Palais de Justice in Paris early Sunday morning. He is expected to be charged with complicity in his brother's killings or criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise.
Abdelkader's wife, Yasmina Mesbah who was arrested with him, was released at 4:30 am today without charges, according to her lawyer. (Her name seems to be disappearing from news articles, here's another cached version.) Zoulhika Aziri, the mother of Abdelkader and Mohamed, was released from custody Saturday. She also won't face charges. [More...]
Abdelhader and Yasmina were flown from Toulouse to Paris yesterday for a final day of questioning at SDAT (the Anti-Terrorism unit in Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine.)
Abdelkader was not present during the killings, and insists he did not know of his brother's plan. But police say the two shared a 3 hour dinner Sunday night, the eve of the school killings. They also say he accompanied Mohamed to the scooter dealership on March 6 to inquire about removing the GPS chip (although the dealership's owner says only Mohamed was there.) The police also say Abdelkader was present when Mohamed stole the scooter (some news sources say he admitted the scooter allegations.)
Abdelkader was arrested at his home Wednesday, and under French law, he could be held 96 hours before being charged or released. No weapons or explosives were found at his home and nothing conclusive was found on either of the brother's computers.
It appears Mohamed acted alone, not on instructions from al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization.
Here's a bigger copy of the JDD Dimanche photo of Abdelkader Merah that was on its twitter feed yesterday, but seems to be gone now.
Another version here. Here's another photo:
Update: Contrary to early press reports citing an anonymous police source, Abdelkadar does not approve of what his brother did:
Abdelkader Merah has instructed his lawyer to make it clear he condemns what his brother has done.
Anne-Sophie Laguens, Abdelkader Merah’s lawyer, said: “There have been press leaks which are entirely false, in particular that Abdelkader Merah said he was proud of his brother’s actions. He wants today to convey that this is untrue.”
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