Life term sought for brother of jihadist who killed French Jews in school attack
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Life term sought for brother of jihadist who killed French Jews in school attack

Prosecutors say Abdelkader Merah had considerable influence over his younger sibling, Mohamed, who shot dead a rabbi, 3 children and 3 soldiers

Jonathan Sandler, shot to death March 19 in Toulouse, France, pictured with his two slain sons and with his wife (who was not hurt in the attack). (photo credit: via Facebook)
Jonathan Sandler, shot to death March 19 in Toulouse, France, pictured with his two slain sons and with his wife (who was not hurt in the attack). (photo credit: via Facebook)

PARIS, France — Prosecutors in the trial of the brother of the Islamist radical who shot dead seven people including three Jewish children in southwest France in 2012 called Monday for him to be jailed for life.

Abdelkader Merah, 35, should be ineligible for parole for 22 years, prosecutor Naima Rudloff told the court as the trial that began on October 2 reached its final phase.

He was accused of knowingly facilitating his brother Mohamed Merah’s attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse in which a rabbi, two of the rabbi’s children aged three and five and an eight-year-old girl were killed.

The attack, which Merah carried out in the name of Al-Qaeda, was the deadliest on Jews in France in three decades and the first of a wave of violence by homegrown jihadists that has killed more than 200 people.

Over the course of his nine-day killing spree, Merah also shot dead three soldiers based in the nearby garrison town of Montauban before police killed him after a 32-hour siege of his home.

Court sketch made on October 20, 2017 at the Paris courthouse, shows Abdelkader Merah talking to the court during his trial for complicity in the series of shootings committed by his brother Mohamed in Toulouse and Montauban in 2012. (AFP/Benoit PEYRUCQ)

Abdelkader was charged with helping Mohamed, 23 at the time, to steal the motor scooter and jacket he used during the killing spree.

Abdelkader was also accused of belonging to an offshoot of Al-Qaeda and following the group’s “teachings and operational advice.”

Mohammed Merah, seen in a home video. (photo credit: France 2)
Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah, seen in a home video (France 2)

Investigators believe Abdelkader had considerable influence over his brother.

Defending him in 2012, the elder Merah had said: “Every Muslim would like to give his life to kill his enemy.”

Prosecutors say the pair were repeatedly in contact in the days before the shootings.

Rudloff said a second defendant, Fettah Malki, also charged with complicity, should get 20 years behind bars.

The 34-year-old was accused of supplying Mohamed Merah with a machine pistol, ammunition and a bulletproof vest.

Neither man denies helping the gunman obtain materials but claim they were unaware of his intentions.

A verdict is expected Thursday.

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