Philadelphia sues Paris over Mumia Abu Jamal

13th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 11, 2006 (AFP) - City authorities in Philadelphia are suing their counterparts in Paris and its suburb of Saint Denis for honouring a US prisoner on death row for the murder of a policeman he denies committing, a lawyer said Saturday.

PARIS, Nov 11, 2006 (AFP) - City authorities in Philadelphia are suing their counterparts in Paris and its suburb of Saint Denis for honouring a US prisoner on death row for the murder of a policeman he denies committing, a lawyer said Saturday.

Gilbert Collard, representing the US city, said complaints alleging "apology for crime" had been officially lodged with prosecutors in the French capital and the adjoining region of Seine-Saint-Denis.

In October 2003 Paris awarded Mumia Abu Jamal honorary citizenship at a ceremony attended by the head of his support committee, black US activist Angela Davis, in a symbolic gesture against the death penalty.

In April this year Saint Denis named a street after Jamal, 52, formerly known as Wesley Cook, a member of the Black Panther movement, who was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of policeman Daniel Faulkner in Philadelphia.

His supporters, who allege the trial was a travesty of justice, managed to prevent his execution in 1995 and again in 1999, when a hired killer, Arnold Beverley, confessed to have shot Faulkner in a mafia hit.

The death sentence but not the conviction was overturned in 2001, but both sides are appealing the decision.

Collard said officials from Philadelphia would be coming to Paris within the next two weeks to make their views known. He said the aim of the lawsuit was not to damage any campaign against the death penalty, which he himself opposed, but the US city considered the honours bestowed on Abu Jamal abnormal.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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