World INFORMATION EUROPE 1 - Attack in Bamako: the alleged perpetrator was reportedly released in exchange for hostages, including Sophie Pétronin

08:40  25 october  2020
08:40  25 october  2020 Source:   europe1.fr

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image captionFrench charity worker Sophie Pétronin and ex-Malian Ms Pétronin , who was seized in December 2016, was the last French citizen to be held hostage anywhere in the world. In April, the two appeared in a video together which was reportedly handed to local media outlets by an unnamed

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Le procès de Fawaz Ould Ahmeida, auteur présumé de l'attaque du restaurant La Terrasse, qui avait fait cinq morts dont un Français à Bamako, en mars 2015, s'ouvre mardi au Mali. Mais selon les informations d'Europe 1, le principal suspect pourrait avoir été relâché en échange de la récente libération d'otages, dont la Française Sophie Pétronin. © AFP The trial of Fawaz Ould Ahmeida, alleged perpetrator of the attack on the restaurant La Terrasse, who had killed five people including a French in Bamako, in March 2015, opens Tuesday in Mali. But according to information from Europe 1, the main suspect could have been released in exchange for the recent release of hostages, including the French Sophie Pétronin.

The attack killed five people, including a Frenchman. The trial of the attack which targeted the restaurant La Terrasse, in Bamako, in March 2015 , is to open in Mali on Tuesday. But, according to information from Europe 1 and Le Parisien, the hearing may not provide the expected answers: the alleged perpetrator, the Mauritanian Fawaz Ould Ahmeida, would be one of the 200 jihadists released in exchange for the recent release of four hostages , including the French Sophie Pétronin and the leader of the Malian opposition, Soumaïla Cissé.

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President Emmanuel Macron said the attack bore all the hallmarks of an "Islamist terrorist attack " and the teacher had been murdered because he "taught freedom of expression". The French satirical magazine was the subject of a deadly attack in 2015 after publishing the cartoons.

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"The silence of the French authorities is worrying"

Fawaz Ould Ahmeida, "Ibrahim 10", of his nom de guerre, is also suspected of having planned two attacks committed in August and November 2015, in a hotel in Sévaré and at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako , which had caused 33 victims between them. The terrorist was reportedly released discreetly and under a false identity, just days before the start of the trial for the La Terrasse attack.

Since then, the family of Fabien Guyomard, the only French victim of the attack on the Bamako restaurant, as well as the National Federation of Victims of Attacks and Collective Accidents (Fenvac), which accompanies him, have faced silence embarrassed by the authorities about the conditions for holding this trial. "We do not really know in what context this exchange took place, but the opacity around all this prevents us from having certainties," explains at the microphone of Europe 1 Sophia Secco, general manager of the association. "The silence of the French authorities is worrying."

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"It's exceptional, that we have an author in front of us"

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"If we agreed to release him, we sent the French population and French nationals who still travel to Africa today the message that justice and the French state are not in a position to preserve their right to have access to the manifestation of the truth and to obtain justice " , considers the person in charge of Fenvac. "And it is particularly serious, knowing that it is exceptional, that we have an author in front of us: we have it in few cases of terrorism. We do not have the three terrorists direct authors of the killings in the trial of the January 2015 attacks, we will have Salah Abdeslam for November 13, but this is rare.

>> READ ALSO - Sophie Pétronin, the underside of a release

And Sophia Secco to emphasize the "risk" that these releases could also constitute for "the stability of these zones and the potential repetition of terrorist acts which would implicate French and other nationalities in the future."

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Paris underlines its "determination" to fight against the jihadists

In Paris, however, everything is planned for a retransmission of the hearings, subject to the Malian green light.An organization which Fenvac and the family of Fabien Guyomard are pleased: his relatives have also planned to come from Brittany to attend . But no authority wants to come forward to confirm the absence of the main accused.

>> READ ALSO - Sophie Pétronin: the liberation of jihadists "singularly changes the situation" in Mali

In France, we turn our eyes to Mali: a diplomatic source indicates that this negotiation was the sole responsibility of Mali - in particular the decision to release jihadists - emphasizing Paris' "determination" to continue the fight against terrorists. A hushed way to indicate that France is not responsible for this choice. We remember the reaction, unusual enough to be underlined, of General François Lecointre, chief of staff of the armed forces, indignant at the words of the former French hostage on his release - she had said her wish to return to Gao , in northern Mali.

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