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French police doubt existence of Toulouse gunman videos

RFI-French/Isabelle Le Gonidec

French investigators said on Wednesday that they doubted some of the evidence alluded to by the father of Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah, who has brought a legal case against France in the death of his son. Merah's March shooting spree in southwest France killed seven people. 

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Investigators told the AFP news agency that they doubted that videos taken by the gunman before he was killed actually existed.

“Merah didn't have a cell phone or a computer, or a camera,” said a police source, requesting anonymity. “If Merah had been in possession of recording devices, they would have been seized after his death during investigations at the scene.”

A member of the legal team representing Mohamed Benalel Merah, Merah’s father, said the family had video proof, which it would hand over at the request of authorities.

Prosecutors put in a formal request for the evidence on Tuesday. Merah’s lawyer in Algeria, Zahia Mokhtari, said she was ready to come to France to present the videos to French courts, once the demand had been received.

Merah allegedly sent footage to his father via iPhone, before being killed by police.

The videos factor into the lawsuit brought against France by Merah’s father for “murder with aggravating circumstances,” after police shot dead Merah at the end of a 32-hour siege at his apartment in Toulouse.

The 23 year-old filmed himself carrying out several killings in mid-March, which included three soldiers, three children and a teacher, in attacks that left the country in shock.
 

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