Afghan knife killer indicted on French murder charge

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

An Afghan asylum seeker who killed a man and wounded eight others in a weekend knife attack just outside the French city of Lyon was indicted on Monday for murder and attempted murder, a prosecutor said.

Armed with a knife and a barbecue skewer, the man in his 30s blindly attacked passersby on a busy street by a metro exit in the Villeurbanne suburb on Saturday before being stopped by witnesses.

The man, who is in custody, appeared to have psychological problems and had smoked large quantities of cannabis before stabbing a 19-year-old to death and injuring others, Prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet said Sunday.

During “confused” interviews with police, the suspect said he was a Muslim who had heard voices saying God had been insulted and he was instructed to kill.

A first psychiatric evaluation revealed “an invasive psychotic state.”

The judges investigating the case applied for provisional detention, the prosecutor said.

The ongoing investigation is now focusing on the suspect’s profile, after his first statement did not explain his actions.

He arrived in France as a minor in 2009, then made a trip to Italy in 2014, Germany in 2015 and Norway in 2016, before he returned to France without his family in 2016.

Two years later, he received asylum but not refugee status.

He has since held a renewable temporary residence permit that expires in January 2020.

During his asylum application, the man was initially hosted in the CAO reception and orientation center of Villeurbanne in summer 2017, then stayed in an accommodation center from April 2019, Jean-Francois Ploquin, director general of Refugee Forum, which manages the shelter, told AFP.

While there, his “psychological fragility was detected,” Ploquin said.

He was then directed to a mental health center for refugees and a psychiatric institution in Lyon, but he did not want to receive care.

“On the other hand, no one had ever felt aggression on his part,” Ploquin said.

Top Content Trending