Agit Polat, spokesman of the Kurdish Democratic Council of France (CDK-F), told MedyaNews about new discoveries that have started to lift the veil of mystery over the case regarding the fatal Paris shooting at a Kurdish cultural centre on 23 December, which French authorities initially defined as a crime committed with racist motives.
William Malet, a 69-year-old retired train conductor suspected of murdering three Kurdish activists, was arrested after being disarmed by customers and staff at a hair salon he entered following the deadly attack in the cultural centre.
Malet had said during his statement in police custody that he hated “foreigners” and on the day of the shooting he directly went to Rue d’Enghien in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, where he opened fire at Ahmet Kaya Kurdish Cultural Centre.
However, Polat said that a metro ticket found on him revealed that on the morning of the shooting, he first went to Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. When asked, Malet did not provide a convincing answer to why he went there first, or why he had hid going there, except that he “forgot”. Later, he explained that he went there to carry out an attack but he hadn’t found enough foreigners to kill and he felt anxious.
Over this new information, the victims’ families suspect that Malet could have acquired the gun he used in the shooting from Saint-Denis, Polat said.
Malet had served a year in prison on remand awaiting trial for attacking a migrant camp in eastern Paris a year ago and he had been released around 10 days before the shooting.
Polat noted that after his statements in police custody, Malet chose to exercise his right to remain silent before the investigating judges. His refusal to answer questions about what he was doing or whether he met with someone in that 10-day period raises suspicion as well.
The investigators found €6,000 in cash during the searches of his room. This cash, currently of unknown origin, also raises suspicions without concrete evidence that the money may have been given to him.
Camera recordings and photographs that may show whether he was collaborating with anyone during the attack and whether any vehicle left him at the scene have not yet entered the investigation file. Investigations into this matter are continuing, according to the prosecutor.
Polat stressed that these new findings, which have emerged in the time since the incident, have raised suspicions that this attack against the Kurdish community in Paris was planned.
French journalist Violet Lazard emphasises in an article for L’OBS published on Friday that the Kurdish community in France has been revolting since the incident because “the terrorist nature of the shooting which left three dead and three injured was not recognised”, adding that the investigation is not being conducted by a counter-terrorism prosecutor.
The journalist asks:
“Why did William Malet come especially to Rue d’Enghien, then he climbed the few steps that separate the sidewalk from the Ahmet Kaya Kurdish cultural centre located at number 16, before ending his murderous journey in a hairdressing salon, also Kurdish?”
“If the 69-year-old, armed with a Colt 45, four magazines and a box of 25 cartridges, was eager to kill as many foreigners as possible like he admitted, other more obvious targets were not lacking in this multicultural district located in the heart of the capital.”