- Title: France knife attack not a terrorist act, Lyon prosecutor says
- Date: 1st September 2019
- Summary: LYON, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 1, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF LYON COURTHOUSE WINDOWS OF LYON COURTHOUSE COURTHOUSE BUILDING LYON PROSECUTOR, NICOLAS JACQUET, ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (French) LYON PROSECUTOR, NICOLAS JACQUET, SAYING: "At this stage, I confirm to you that the national anti-terrorism intelligence services, which has been closely associated since the beginning of the case, can only identify, based on the profile of the suspect, the absence of any element that could link his actions to terrorist organisations. The investigation then continues under my authority, and I will stay in close contact with the national prosecutor for terrorism. The investigation will now focus on the identity, the background and the personality of the suspect. A judicial investigation will follow, which will be opened by my office tomorrow." PHOTOGRAPHER LOOKING AT CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (French) LYON PROSECUTOR, NICOLAS JACQUET, SAYING: "The suspect is an Afghan man, known to authorities under two different identities and three declared dates of birth. He would be either 33, 31 or 27 years old. He allegedly came to France in 2009 when he was still a minor. Found in Italy in 2014, then in Germany in 2015, then in Norway in 2016, he came back to France in June 2016. He has a temporary resident card, which he can renew until January 31, 2020. Having no known judicial precedent, the suspect is also not known to intelligence services for radicalisation." CAMERAMAN USING PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (French) LYON PROSECUTOR, NICOLAS JACQUET, SAYING: "During his first questioning, in which he partially admitted to the facts, he said he did not remember precisely how his actions unfolded apart from the first minutes of his murderous rampage. He said he was a Muslim and that in the afternoon he had heard voices insulting God, who ordered him to kill. He also thought he recognised, among his first victims, an individual with whom he had a quarrel during his stay in England a couple years ago. Saying he acted because of vengeance, his statements remained incoherent and confused. He admitted to being under the influence of cannabis resin, which had been confirmed by a drug test." CAMERAS (SOUNDBITE) (French) LYON PROSECUTOR, NICOLAS JACQUET, SAYING: "Although he is not known to have past psychological problems, he underwent a preliminary psychological evaluation this morning while he was being detained. The expert psychiatrist has evoked an invasive psychotic state entailing paranoiac delusions on various themes, among them mysticism and religion." JACQUET LEAVING ROOM AFTER NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 15th September 2019 14:53
- Keywords: France knife attack Lyon Villeurbanne prosecutor investigation news conference terrorism
- Location: LYON, FRANCE
- City: LYON, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUTTBGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The knife attack that killed one and wounded several others in central France over the weekend was not a terrorist act, Lyon's prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet announced on Sunday (September 1).
One person was killed and at least nine others were wounded on Saturday (August 31) in the city of Villeurbanne near Lyon after a suspected knife attack.
Jacquet confirmed the suspect was an Afghan man known to authorities under two names with three declared dates of birth. He said intelligence services had not flagged him for Islamist radicalisation in the past.
The suspect's motive was not immediately known to police. Jacquet said that during his first interrogations, the man, who identifies as a Muslim, admitted to having vague memories of the incident, adding that he had "heard voices insulting God, who ordered him to kill."
A psychiatric evaluation conducted on the man indicated that he suffered from an "invasive psychotic state entailing paranoiac delusions," Jacquet said.
A judicial investigation is slated to be opened on Monday (September 2) by Jacquet's office to determine the exact identity and background of the suspect.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani, Ardee Napolitano)
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