Saturday 21 September 2019

Man faces terror charges over gun used in Strasbourg terror attack

Two other people were arrested and detained on Monday as part of the terror investigation the Paris prosecutor’s office is conducting into the attack.

A heavy police presence surrounds the Christmas market in Strasbourg (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)
A heavy police presence surrounds the Christmas market in Strasbourg (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

By Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press

A man suspected of supplying the gun that was used in the shooting attack that killed five people near a Christmas market in Strasbourg was charged with preliminary terror offences on Monday, a judicial official said.

The official said the man appeared before a judge and was charged with criminal association with terrorists, as well as possessing and supplying arms in connection with a terrorist enterprise.

The man is suspected of furnishing the weapon that alleged gunman Cherif Chekatt used in the December 11 attack, the judicial official said.

He was remanded into custody.

Chekatt, 29, died in a shootout with police in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Two other people were arrested and detained on Monday as part of the terror investigation the Paris prosecutor’s office is conducting into the attack.

They also were suspected of “playing a role in supplying the firearm”, said the official.

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French President Emmanuel Macron pays his respects to victims of the attack (AP)

Their arrests bring the number of suspects in custody since the attack to three.

Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers were questioned by police last week and released.

The death toll from the attack increased to five on Sunday after a Polish man died of his wounds in a Strasbourg hospital.

Barto Orent-Niedzielski, 36, lived in the city, where he worked at the European Parliament and as a journalist.

The other casualties include a tourist from Thailand and an Italian journalist covering the European Parliament.

According to some reports, Orent-Niedzielski fought the gunman and stopped him from entering a crowded club, possibly preventing more deaths.

Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter that “I knew him by sight. I am shocked. I had not realised that he was the one mortally wounded protecting other people. Honour to his memory. RIP”.

PA Media

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