Students paid to identify Samuel Paty before teacher’s death, officials say


(PARIS) — France’s anti-terror prosecutor charged seven people in the case of the murder of French history teacher Samuel Paty, including two minors.

French prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said in a press conference on Wednesday that Abdoulakh Anzorov, the man accused of killing Samuel Paty on Friday, Oct. 16, needed help identifying his victim.  After questioning 16 people, the police released nine of the detainees, including members of Anzorov’s family.

Among those charged is a student Anzorov approached, offering him around €300-350 (around $356-415 USD). The student accepted and stayed on-site with Anzorov and received the remainder of the payment once Paty was identified, Ricard said on Wednesday.

Among the charged is Brahim “C”, a school parent who had posted a video accusing Paty of using blasphemous depictions of the Prophet Mohammed. “Brahim C” was accompanied by ”Abdelhakim S” when he went to the school to complain about the teacher’s lesson and request Paty’s dismissal, authorities said.

“It is clear that the professor has been designated as a target on social networks by the two men,” Ricard said, adding that Brahim C and Anzorov subsequently had “several contacts” between Oct. 9-13.

Charges listed in the inquiry include complicity in assassination in relation to a terrorist enterprise, complicity in attempted assassination on a person holding public authority in relation to a terrorist enterprise, and terrorist association with a view to committing crimes against persons.

Ricard said that the attack occurred in the context of “calls for murder” following the republication of the cartoons by Charlie Hebdo in early September as the trial of the January 2015 attacks started.

French President Emmanuel Macron held a ceremony at La Sorbonne University in Paris for Paty in the presence of his family.

“We have all anchored in our hearts the memory of a teacher who changed the course of our lives (…) Samuel Paty was one of them,” Macron said. Paty was granted posthumously the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honor.

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