Europe1 .fr with AFP 14:03 p.m., June 09, 2023In a tweet on Friday, prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis said that the custody of the perpetrator of the knife attack that injured six people Thursday in Annecy has been extended. Since his arrest, a few minutes after the attack on the children, the respondent has given no explanation for his action.
The custody of the perpetrator of the knife attack that injured six people, including four very young children Thursday in Annecy, was extended Friday, while Emmanuel Macron and his wife went to the bedside of the victims, before meeting the people who gave their support during the tragedy. His condition was deemed "compatible with police custody" after his psychiatric expertise, according to a source close to the investigation.
"Knife attack in Annecy. The custody of the accused is extended. No other communication planned today as it is," informed Friday a laconic tweet from prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis.
'Obstruction of police custody'
Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron visited the victims hospitalized in Grenoble before going to Annecy to meet those who brought "help and support" during the tragedy that shook Friday this peaceful city in the Northern Alps.
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Two of the four children injured in the attack are still in "vital emergency", said government spokesman Olivier Véran, shortly before the presidential trip. Three of the injured children were transferred to Grenoble, the fourth to Geneva, Switzerland, after receiving first aid in Annecy.
Since his arrest, a few minutes after the attack on the children, the defendant has given no explanation for his gesture and made "obstruction of police custody", including by "rolling on the ground", according to a source close to the investigation. If the psychiatric examination had concluded that discernment had been abolished, police custody would have been lifted and the doctors would have taken over.
'Sadness and hatred'
At this stage, his motivations seem "without apparent terrorist motive", according to the Annecy prosecutor's office. With no criminal record and no fixed address, this 31-year-old man, who lived for ten years in Sweden, had left his family a few months ago to go to France and had been in Annecy since autumn 2022. When he acted, he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The father of a three-year-old child was in a legal situation when he arrived in France a few months ago. In a new asylum application filed in France in November 2022, he declared himself a "Christian from Syria", according to a police source. He was wearing a Christian cross when he was arrested.
The assailant, black shorts and blue scarf tied on his head, clearly aimed at children during his deadly attack, according to images of the drama authenticated by AFP. We see him in this video raising his arms to heaven and shouting in English "in the name of Jesus!".
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The footage also shows a young man carrying a backpack trying to push him back. Named Henri, he must be one of the people that Emmanuel Macron must meet Friday, according to the Elysee. One adult was hospitalized after being injured by the assailant and shot by police during the arrest, and another adult was hit more lightly.
An improvised memorial
The attack, which occurred in broad daylight, horrified the people of Annecy and the thousands of tourists present at the beginning of the summer season. With tears in their eyes, dozens of shocked people laid flowers or came to pay their respects in front of the small improvised memorial in the playground. Bouquets of white roses, soft toys, candles and messages of support pile up in front of wooden castles and slides.
A small improvised altar with candles, white roses and messages was erected Thursday night in a corner of the playground where the attack took place. "Innocence under attack, what sadness!! A very emotional thought for the little victims and other injured," reads one of the handwritten messages.
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Thierry Dekoninck, a local resident, came to lay roses in this playground where he comes "almost every Sunday" with his children. He feels "sadness, sorrow for the family, a little hatred also because the world is going crazy, I have the impression".
The attack sparked an avalanche of reactions in the political world, with right-wing and far-right politicians highlighting the origin and status of the aggressor. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin have already visited Annecy on Thursday.