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France

Skinhead ‘admitted’ brass knuckles in deadly fight with French leftist

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-25

One of the two skinheads being investigated over the death of a far-left activist in a brawl outside a Paris clothes sale wrote a text message bragging about using brass knuckles in the deadly fight, French media has reported.

Samuel Dufour, who is under investigation for the manslaughter of 18-year-old Clément Méric, has repeatedly denied using a knuckle duster, and has told investigators he did not even hit the leftist “Antifa” (anti fascist) militant.

Dufour’s co-accused Esteban Morillo, 20, has admitted hitting Méric in the brawl, but insists he did so with his bare hands.

But according to left-leaning daily Libération, analysis of his mobile phone showed he had sent an SMS mail to a friend immediately after the brawl saying: “I used your brass knuckles... we smashed them [the leftists] up.”

Contacted by news agencies on Tuesday, Dufour’s lawyer Antoine Vey said his client was still adamant that no brass knuckles were used against Méric.

“If this does point to the use of this weapon, it doesn’t change the fact that Samuel Dufour had no physical contact with Méric that night,” he said.

“Moreover, forensic evidence shows that no blunt instrument, such as brass knuckles, was used against Méric.”

Sources close to the investigation say another witness, an “Antifa” friend of Méric’s who was involved in the fight, said he had “faced off” with Dufour during the entire incident.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly how last June’s brawl, outside a sale of specialist clothes favoured by skinheads and leftists alike, kicked off.

Reports suggested Méric may have been the aggressor and thrown the first punch in the fight near Paris’s Saint-Lazare.

Despite this, the outrage caused by his death led to calls for a crackdown on French skinhead groups. 

Date created : 2014-02-25

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