Toulouse killer's brother charged with complicity


A police vehicle carrying Abdelkader Merah, the older brother of the Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah, arrives at the anti-terrorist police headquarters near Paris suburb on Mar. 24, 2012.


Kenzo Tribouillard

The brother of Mohamed Merah who killed seven people in France in recent weeks has been charged over the murders.

The BBC quotes juidicial sources as saying that Abdelkader Merah, 29, is suspected of complicity in murder and theft, and involvement in terrorism.

Abdelkader Merah denies the accusations but says he was there when his brother Mohammed, 23, stole a scooter used in the attacks -- one on three paratroopers, the other on a Jewish school, where he killed a teacher and three children, Radio France Internationale says.

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Elisabeth Allannic, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor, said that he preliminary charges were filed after Merah’s interrogation by the judge, according to Bloomberg.

France 24 explains that Preliminary charges in French law means that there is a strong reason to suspect a crime but more time is needed to investigate.

Abdelkader Merah’s lawyer is quoted as saying that his client feels like “a scapegoat.”

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Authorities suspect Abdelkader had a role in acquiring his younger brother’s weapons and financing his trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, where Mohamed Merah claimed to have trained with al-Qaida, the Jewish Telegraph Agency says.

Abdelkader Merah's girlfriend, Yamina Mesbah, was held but has been released without being charged, Press Association reports.