France opens inquiry into attacks on journalists in Syria
France opened a preliminary inquiry on Friday into the suspected targeting of journalists in Syria, including the death of photographer Rémi Ochlik (left) in the February 22 Homs bombing that also wounded journalist Edith Bouvier (right).
AFP - Paris prosecutors on Friday opened a preliminary murder probe into an attack on a media centre in Syria's Homs in which a French photographer was killed and a French journalist wounded.
The February 22 rocket attack in Homs' Baba Amr district killed French photographer Remi Ochlik as well as veteran Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin, and wounded Le Figaro reporter Edith Bouvier of France and British photographer Paul Conroy.
A judicial source said that one of the inquiry's first objectives would be to gather data that would allow the formal identification of Ochlik's body so that it could be returned to France.
A plane transporting Bouvier and French photographer William Daniels was due in Paris later Friday after they were evacuated from protest-centre Homs where they had been trapped for days under regime bombardment.
Homs activists released two videos showing the burials of Ochlik and Colvin, an American, in a cemetery in Baba Amr.
Syrian authorities on Thursday exhumed them after taking control of the neighbourhood and transferred them to a Damascus hospital.
They are to be handed over to the Polish embassy, which represents the United States, France and Spain, in the presence of the International Red Cross, after Syria has carried out DNA tests on the remains.
Colvin's employer, Britain's Sunday Times, has said she and Ochlik were killed when a rocket hit the front of the building they were in, burying them both in debris.
Syrian authorities have been accused of deliberately targeting journalists during the almost year-long uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime.