Toulouse Man Sentenced to Prison for Praising Merah (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari, Canada 03/30/12)
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A French court sentenced on Friday a 20-year-old man from the same
Toulouse neighborhood as gunman Mohamed Merah to three months in
prison for praising his crimes.
AFP reported that the man, Mohamed Redha Ghezali, was convicted
of “provoking racial hatred” and “apology for terrorism”. Toulouse
prosecutor Michel Valet told the French news agency that the
conviction was a signal that authorities would not tolerate any
statements supporting Merah´s crimes.
According to the report, Ghezali was arrested last week in the
Toulouse area of Les Izards, a few hours after Merah was shot dead in
a hail of bullets after a 32-hour siege that followed his killings of
three soldiers and three children and a teacher at the Otzar Hatorah
The local Depeche du Midi newspaper reported that while haranguing a
group of police officers, he said, “My mate Mohamed, that´s a real
man. It´s too bad he didn´t have time to finish the job.”
According to the AFP report, prosecutors had asked for a nine-month
sentence and Ghezali had denied making the statement in court. He was
not immediately jailed pending a possible appeal.
Valet told AFP prosecutors would pursue anyone expressing support for
Merah "given the extreme seriousness of his acts."
“I will use this decision to send a message: I will be very firm, I
will not let any of this kind of talk pass,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, French police detained 19 people in a crackdown on
Islamist extremists with more raids to come, according to the
Nicolas Sarkozy gave no details about the arrests, which were a part
of an operation by France´s principal intelligence agency, the DCRI.
A police investigator told The Associated Press the arrests did not
stem from the inquiry into the Toulouse murders.
Sarkozy promised a crackdown on Islamic extremism immediately after
Merah’s murders. Friday’s raids are seen as a high profile show of
Earlier this week, France blocked the entry of a number of radical
Islamic clerics who wished to visit Paris. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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