Investigation on charges of voluntary manslaughter against prime suspect in death of Clément Méric

French political left-wing members pay homage to Clément Méric in Paris, 6 June, 2013
French political left-wing members pay homage to Clément Méric in Paris, 6 June, 2013 Reuters/Charles Platiau

 The prosecutor’s office in Paris announced today that it will begin a preliminary investigation on charges of voluntary manslaughter of the primary suspect in the death of leftist activist student Clément Méric.


 More information about the suspect was also revealed. The suspect, known as “Esteban”, a skinhead in his 20s, was born in Cadiz in the South of Spain, but has French nationality, said François Molins, the prosecutor in this case.

Four others have also been detained in connection with the fight. Only one of the suspects, a woman, has been placed under judicial review.

The autopsy of 18 year old Méric showed his death was related to the beatings he had received, and not from his fall to the ground, as previously thought

“The death was not due to bleeding from his fall to the ground, but from trauma sustained to the head after the victim was beaten”, Molins said when speaking to reporters earlier today.

The prosecutor’s office has also opened an investigation against Esteban on charges of voluntary violence in a group, voluntary violence, and complicity of voluntary violence when in a group.

According to eye-witness accounts, Esteban “was seen punching two times” Clément Méric, from which one punch saw him fall to the ground, said Molins.

A friend of Méric also said he remembered seeing Esteban wearing a brass-knuckle while beating the student. Two brass-knuckles were seized by the prosecution from Estaban’s home.

Méric was a member of a far-left anti-fascist organisation. The clash between his group and that of skinheads took place Wednesday evening during a private sale of clothes in the touristy and central neighbourhood near Saint-Lazare train station. The fight continued in the street and ended with Méric being rushed to hospital, where he later died.

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