(Paris) The police custody of the French pensioner who says he killed three Kurds on Friday in Paris because he is racist was lifted on Saturday and the person concerned was taken to the psychiatric infirmary, after a day of demonstrations enamelled with violence in tribute to the victims.
“The doctor who examined the defendant this day (Saturday) at the end of the afternoon declared that the state of health of the person concerned was not compatible with the measure of police custody”, communicated the Paris prosecutor’s office at the end of the day. “The respondent was taken to the psychiatric infirmary of the police headquarters. The police custody measure has therefore been lifted pending his presentation before an examining magistrate when his state of health allows it”.
The 69-year-old, a retired train driver of French nationality, fired several shots on Friday outside a Kurdish cultural center located in a busy shopping district popular with the Kurdish community in central Paris.
Three people, two men and a woman, were killed and three other men injured, including one seriously, according to the latest report.
Controlled by several people before the intervention of the police, the man, who had already committed violence with a weapon in the past, indicated during his arrest that he acted because he was “racist”, reported to the AFP a source close to the file.
“The racist motive of the facts” has been “added” to the investigation opened for assassinations, attempted assassinations, violence with a weapon and violations of the legislation on weapons, the prosecution said on Saturday.
Next to the suspect was discovered “a briefcase” containing “two or three loaded magazines, a box of 45 caliber cartridges with at least 25 cartridges inside”, according to the source close to the file. The weapon used is a US Army “1911 Colt 45”, “worn in appearance”.
The woman killed, Emine Kara, was a leader of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in France, according to the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F). She had made a request for political asylum “rejected by the French authorities”, said Friday the spokesperson for the movement, Agit Polat.
The two deceased men are Abdulrahman Kizil, “an ordinary Kurdish citizen”, and Mir Perwer, a Kurdish artist recognized as a political refugee and “prosecuted in Turkey for his art”, according to the CDK-F.
A police source confirmed to AFP the identities of Emine Kara and Abdulrahman Kizil.
A tribute to the victims, bringing together several thousand people in Paris, was the scene of violence in the early afternoon, noted AFP journalists.
Eleven people were arrested, 31 members of the police were slightly injured as well as a demonstrator, said the Paris police chief, Laurent Nuñez, on the BFMTV channel.
At least four cars were overturned, including at least one set on fire, and garbage cans burned. A few dozen demonstrators threw projectiles at the police who responded with tear gas. “Long live the resistance of the Kurdish people”, shouted several of them.
In Marseille (south), 1,500 people, according to the police headquarters, marched. The demonstration ended in incidents, with at least two police cars set on fire, AFP noted.
The trail of an attack has been ruled out at this stage of the investigations, arousing the incomprehension and anger of the CDK-F.
“The fact that our associations are targeted is of a terrorist and political nature”, declared Agit Polat after his meeting with the prefect of police. “There is no doubt for us that these are political assassinations”.
The suspect, who frequented a shooting range, “wanted to attack foreigners” and “obviously acted alone”, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Friday.
“It is not certain that the killer who wanted to assassinate these people […] did it specifically for the Kurds”, he underlined.
“There is nothing at this stage to accredit any affiliation of this man to an extremist ideological movement”, had also indicated the Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau.
In another case, the alleged shooter has been indicted since December 2021 for violence with weapons, with premeditation and of a racist nature, and damage, for acts committed on December 8, 2021.
He is suspected of having stabbed migrants in a camp in Paris and of having slashed their tents.
After a year in pre-trial detention, he was released on December 12, as required by French law, and placed under judicial supervision, according to the prosecutor.
He was also sentenced in 2017 to a six-month suspended prison sentence for prohibited possession of weapons and, last June, to 12 months in prison for violence with weapons committed in 2016 against burglars.
On the morning of the events, “he said nothing when he left […] He’s crazy. He’s crazy,” the 90-year-old suspect’s father told AFP, describing him as “silent” and “withdrawn.”