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Six remanded in custody over killing of French teenager

Admin By Admin Nov26,2023

LYON: Six people have been remanded in custody over the killing of a French teenager whose death at a village dance party sparked political controversy in France, prosecutors said on Sunday (Nov 26).

Last weekend a 16-year-old pupil, identified only as Thomas, was stabbed when a group of outsiders descended on a festive crowd gathered in Crepol, in the southeastern region of Drome, for a dance party in the village hall.

He died on his way to hospital. Eight others were injured.

On Tuesday, nine suspects including three minors were detained in connection with the teenager’s murder.

Three are minors, the others are aged between 19 and 22.

After 96 hours in police custody, the suspects were transferred to the Valence courthouse on Saturday.

The public prosecutor’s office had requested the opening of an investigation into charges including attempted murder and “murder in an organised gang.”

Nine people have been placed under investigation “in accordance with the request of the public prosecutor”, prosecutor Laurent de Caigny said in a statement, without providing further details.

“Six people, including two minors, were remanded in custody,” he added. “Three people, including one minor, were placed under judicial supervision.”

On Saturday, the prosecutor said that the motive and the details of the crime had not yet been established in full.

According to the preliminary investigation, an altercation that began inside the dance hall, possibly linked to a remark about the hairstyle of one of the suspects, continued outside. More young people arrived in one or two cars.

Nine witnesses reported hearing remarks aimed against “white people”, said the public prosecutor.

However, de Caigny said that the investigation cannot at this stage state with certainty that the victims have been targeted on the basis of their race, ethnicity, or religion.

Most of the suspects admit to having been in Crepol, but deny having stabbed anyone.

On Wednesday, more than 6,000 people marched in the southeastern town of Romans-sur-Isere in memory of Thomas.

Around 2,000 people attended the teenager’s funeral in the village of Saint-Donat-sur-l’Herbasse on Friday.

Even before the arrests, far-right politicians had been quick to blame the attack on youths from immigrant backgrounds from public housing.

“Now anti-white racism is hitting our countryside,” Marion Marechal, the leading candidate for the far-right Reconquete! party of ex-presidential hopeful Eric Zemmour in next year’s European elections, has claimed on X, formerly Twitter.

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