UK court convicted 'Paris shooter' of domestic violence
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The man suspected of going on a shooting spree in Paris earlier this month was convicted on domestic violence charges in Britain shortly before he returned to France, France's daily Libération newspaper reported on Thursday.
The man suspected of going on a shooting spree in the French capital earlier this month was convicted on domestic violence charges in Britain shortly before his return to France, a French newspaper reported on Thursday.
Abdelhakim Dekhar was convicted of spousal abuse by a court in St. Albans, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of London, in January, according to France's daily Libération.
Dekhar shot and seriously wounded a photographer's assistant at the Libération offices before firing outside the headquarters of Société Générale bank in a Parisian business district. He is also accused of having hijacked a car during his escape and of having threatened staff with a gun at the headquarters of 24-hour television news channel BFMTV a few days earlier.
Dekhar, 48, was arrested on November 21 after a Paris-wide manhunt and is now facing charges of attempted murder and kidnapping.
Dekhar has so far refused to cooperate with French police but his DNA has been matched to samples found at the scene of the Paris attacks. In letters found in his posession after the incidents, Dekhar railed against capitalism and accused the media of being involved in conspiracies.
The St. Albans court in the UK sentenced Dekhar to wear an electronic bracelet, carry out community service and observe a curfew for six months. He was also ordered to stay away from his ex-partner, a Latvian student named in court documents as Valentina A., and their children, two boys born in 2004 and 2006.
His British sentence came to end on July 16, 2013, after which he returned to France, Libération said. He lost an appeal in October and was ordered to pay £400 (€480, $650) in legal fees.
"The rejection of his appeal on October 16 and, therefore, the definitive nature of his domestic violence conviction, may explain his decision to stay in France," Libération said.
Dekhar moved to Britain in 1998 after having served a sentence in France for his role in a notorious murder spree in Paris in October 1994 that left five people dead. Dekhar was convicted of having bought the shotgun used by the perpetrators of the attacks, student Florence Rey and her lover Audry Maupin.
Libération also reported that Dekhar married a young Turkish student, Gamze Aras, in 2000 and that the couple had lived in Ilford, northeast of London.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)