The attack on a Kurdish cultural centre in Paris last month was a planned and professional terror act and there are many questions waiting to be answered about the incident, said David Andic, a lawyer representing the victims’ families.
Three people were killed and three others were wounded on December 23, almost 10 years after a similar attack against a Kurdish information centre in Paris.
French authorities have arrested a 69-year-old gunman and put him into prison on charges of murder, attempted murder motivated by race, ethnicity, nationality or religion, and for the unauthorised procurement and possession of a weapon.
During an interview with Fırat news agency on Tuesday, Andic said they could not understand why the case had not been investigated by the national anti-terror prosecution office (PNAT), despite the fact that the French law allowed individual attacks to be considered as terrorist crimes under some conditions.
“There are differences in treatment. While PNAT automatically takes action when the interests of Turkey are targeted, an incident is seen as if a third-page news when the interests of Kurds in France targeted,” Andic told ANF.
The shooter arrested by French authorities had a history of attacks against foreigners. He was arrested in 2021 for attacking the tents of immigrants with a sword and wounding two Sudanese. He was released on probation on 12 December as he completed the maximum term for pre-trial detention according to French law and was awaiting trial.
Andic said the shooter, who was defined by the prosecutor as a person with pathological mental health problems, was not subject to a psychiatric examination during his detention. This person, found by French authorities as a person sane enough to be related, committed the murders only 11 days later, he added.
The shooter’s description of himself as a person with “pathological hatred” also raised suspicions to whether he had received advice from sources, according to Andic.
“I do not believe these are the words of a murderer. If people want to believe they are the words of a murderer, it is their preference. I am a criminal lawyer,” Andic said, adding that the shooter was transferred to a psychiatric unit after his arrest and was later discharged and taken into custody again.
There are also questions related to the period the shooter was in prison, such as the identity of his cell-mates and any contacts he had during detention, the lawyer said.
Similar questions must also be asked about the the shooter during the 11 days he spent after being released from prison, before the attack, according to Andic.