Toulouse victims’ families angry at Merah broadcast (JERUSALEM POST) By JOSEPH STRICH, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT 07/10/12)
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The French TV channel TF1 stirred controversy after it broadcast
recordings on Sunday of the negotiations between terrorist Mohammed
Merah and police during the 32-hour siege of the young man’s
apartment in March.
Merah remained holed up in his home until police stormed the
building, killing the murderer of seven people, among them a rabbi
and three young Jewish children in the city of Toulouse, in southern
The release of the recordings of the final hours of Merah’s life
angered many on Monday as the lawyers of the killer’s victims
announced their intention to prevent the dissemination of the
material on the Internet.
The material was originally broadcast on the Sept a Huit (from seven
to eight) news program. In the audio extracts, the voice of Merah can
be heard calmly speaking with a police negotiator. The young man, who
was recorded talking at 3 a.m., related in detail each one of his
murders, and his determination to continue his killings. He is also
heard speaking about his links with his “brothers” from al-Qaida in
Pakistan, and explaining how he misled the French intelligence agency
“I am a determined person.
I didn’t do all this to let you catch me. Here we’re negotiating,
after, apart from negotiations, don’t forget I have the weapons in
hand,” Merah is heard saying. “I know what’s going on to happen.
I know how you operate in order to intervene... I know that you might
kill me, it’s a risk I take. So here it is, you must know that in
front of you there is a man who is not afraid of death. Death, I love
it, as you love life.”
According to the TV report, Merah said that he was “sent by al-Qaida”
after “training” in Pakistan.
In regard to his future plans, he left no doubt: “I would shoot dead
anybody in police stations [and] in the street.”
More recordings extracts were published late Monday.
In those, Merah said: “My purpose in these attacks was to prioritize
killing troops, since these troops are serving in Afghanistan, with
all their allies.” He claimed that he didn’t “premeditate” the
killings at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school.
According to Merah, he lost the opportunity to kill another soldier,
then drove on his scooter and “I just passed by [the school] like
that. When I woke up in the morning it was not my objective.”
The broadcast of the recordings shocked the families of the victims.
One of their lawyers, Samia Maktouf, said “the victims are outraged
to learn about the content of the negotiations on TV... at this rate,
the videos of the killings will be soon on the web.”
Another lawyer, Ariel Goldmann, complained against the “lack of
consideration and warning” ahead of the broadcast.
Two investigations were opened on Monday against the TV show, one of
them by the Ministry of Justice in Paris and the second one by the
Reacting to the investigations, Catherine Nayl, the managing director
of news and information at TF1, said that the recordings “contained
very important information about the way in which the police
negotiated until the end in order to bring Merah to surrender. [It]
proves that the negotiators tried to arrest Merah alive.”
“We do understand the shock and the violence for the victims families
who had to hear the man who, in absolute cold blood and
determination, assassinated one of their family members,” she added,
before concluding, “[but] we are journalists, and our job is to
inform.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 07/10/12)
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