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Charlie Hebdo co-founder blames slain editor for attack

The article sparked the anger of Richard Malka, Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer for the past 22 years

Published: Updated:

One of the founding members of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo blamed its slain editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, for “dragging the team” to their death by publishing provoking cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Obs reported this week.

“I really hold it against you [Charbonnier],” Henri Roussel, 80, who contributed to the first issue of the satirical weekly in 1970, said.

Last week, two gunmen stormed the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris killing 12 people in one of the deadliest attacks in France in decades.

Referring to the publishing of cartoons of the Prophet in 2011, Roussel wrote: “What made him feel the need to drag the team into overdoing it?”

Following the publication of the cartoons, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were targeted in a firebomb attack.

“I believe that we are fools who took an unnecessary risk. That’s it. We think we are invulnerable. For years, decades even, it was a provocation and then one day the provocation turns against us,” Roussel wrote.

“He shouldn’t have done it, but Charb did it again a year later, in September 2012,” he wrote.

In the article, Roussel described Charb as an “amazing lad” and a “block head.”

The article sparked the anger of Richard Malka, Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer for the past 22 years.

Responding to the letter, Malka wrote: “Charb has not yet even been buried and Obs finds nothing better to do that to publish a polemical and venomous piece on him.

“The other day, the editor of Nouvel Obs, Matthieu Croissandeau, couldn’t shed enough tears to say he would continue the fight. I didn’t know he meant it this way. I refuse to allow myself to be invaded by bad thoughts, but my disappointment is immense,” he added.