Russian authorities have no powers to open a case against a Moscow-born attacker who beheaded a teacher in France, an embassy spokesman has said, adding that his origin is not as important as the place of his radicalization.
Russia has no plans to launch its own investigation into the brutal murder committed in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, not far from the French capital, the Russian embassy said on Saturday. This is because there are no legal means to investigate a murder on French soil, Sergey Parinov, the embassy’s spokesman, told RT France.
However, the embassy has contacted the French Interior Ministry over the case to “keep in touch,” he said, adding that he expects these contacts to continue.
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Parinov confirmed that the Moscow-born, ethnic Chechen teen named as the attacker had arrived in France in 2008 with his family and sought asylum there. The man was also granted a long-term residence permit in March, that allowed him to stay in France until at least 2030, he said.
The diplomat argued that the origin of the assailant might not play a big role in the investigation of Friday’s grisly murder.
“It is not the place of birth that is important but where [the suspect was radicalized and embarked on the terrorist path,” Parinov told RIA news agency, adding that Russia has consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms.
The exact circumstances that caused the attacker to commit this murder are still unknown, but so far it seems unlikely that his radicalization had anything to do with Russia, as the man, born in 2002, had lived in France since the age of six.
The slain teacher, identified as Samuel Paty was killed and beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday, after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class earlier this year. It is believed that the images he displayed were from the notorious Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. The suspect, who went on to roam the streets with a knife and an air pistol, was then gunned down by police in the neighboring town of Eragny.
Paris police confront and shoot the decapitation attack suspect
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Posts circulating on social media suggest that the teacher’s actions initially sparked the indignation of a disgruntled parent of one of his students, who called on fellow Muslims to take action and demand Paty be fired. A half-sister of the student’s father who launched the social media campaign against Paty had joined the Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group in Syria back in 2014, according to Reuters. It is, however, unclear if the assailant knew this man or any of his family before the attack.
Four close relatives of the attacker as well as five more people, including the digruntled father behind the video, have reportedly been arrested in the wake of the incident. One of those arrested is allegedly the parent’s acquaintance, who has been known to the French intelligence services.
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