French prosecutors request new Toulouse gunman videos
French prosecutors on Tuesday requested access to new self-made videos showing Al-Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah shortly before he was shot dead by police after his killing spree in southern France.
Prosecutors are requesting the videos as part of a probe into a murder suit filed by Merah's father, Mohamed Benalel Merah, over his son's death in March at the end of a 32-hour siege at his flat in the city of Toulouse.
The 23-year-old had shot dead three soldiers, and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, in a series of killings that shocked the country.
The Paris prosecutors' office said it had made a formal request to the father's lawyers after discovering the existence of the videos when they were mentioned in court filings related to the suit.
Algerian newspaper Echorouk published what it said were transcripts of the videos Tuesday, with Merah alleging that a friend who had identified himself as a fellow Islamist was in fact working for French security services.
"I am innocent. I am discovering that my best friend Zouheir works for French secret services," Merah reportedly said in the video, recorded as Zouheir was among a group of people trying to convince Merah to surrender.
"You sent me to Iraq, to Pakistan and to Syria to help Muslims. And in the end you reveal yourself as a criminal and a captain in the French services. I would never have believed it," he reportedly said.
"Go to hell traitor," he said. "You will kill me for no reason. You are the one who brought me to this situation. I will never forgive you."
Merah's Algeria-based father filed the suit on Monday, after saying French authorities had intentionally "liquidated" Merah instead of trying to capture him alive.
His French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre previously said the videos would be handed over to prosecutors once requested.
© 2012 AFP