Police protect man attacked by football mob

27th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 25, 2006 (AFP) - French authorities on the weekend moved to protect a Jewish man at the centre of a racist football hooligan drama in which a soccer fan was shot dead by a black plainclothes policeman.

PARIS, Nov 25, 2006 (AFP) - French authorities on the weekend moved to protect a Jewish man at the centre of a racist football hooligan drama in which a soccer fan was shot dead by a black plainclothes policeman.

"Increased protection measures" have been extended to Yaniv Hazout and his family in the tough northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles where they live, the local mayor, François Pupponi, told AFP.

The extra police security was ordered out of fears that Hazout, 21, might be targeted for further violence in the wake of the shooting, he said.

The deadly incident occurred in the capital last Thursday, when a threatening crowd of 100 football supporters gave chase to Hazout. Their Paris Saint Germain (PSG) team had just lost to the visiting Israel team Hapoel Tel Aviv, of which Hazout is a fan.

A black policeman who witnesses said was trying to protect Hazout shot and killed one of the PSG fans, 25-year-old Julien Quemener, after they were both cornered in a McDonald's restaurant and the mob hurled racist insults at them.

The officer, Antoine Granomort, 32, was on Saturday questioned as an "assisted witness" by a judge who is trying to determine whether the shooting was legitimate self-defence or whether charges should be laid.

Fans interviewed on French radio said the officer was not wearing an identifying arm-band and had fired his gun in panic, but a police union representative, Patrice Ribeiro, said Granomort "had no choice but to shoot".

Pupponi said extra security was also being provided to the Jewish community in Sarcelles.

"We've taken appropriate measures without going overboard," he said.

Some 300 PSG supporters held a silent march Sunday in memory of Quemener, walking behind a banner reading: "Murdering authorities — truth for Julien".

One participant who gave his name as Antoine said the fan shot by the officer "was murdered — a mistake was made and because we're in an election period they're going to cover it up as self-defence."

Meanwhile, far-right party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen told France 5 television he planned to sue a state prosecutor for defamation over alleged comments.

He said the prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, had asserted that several of the PSG fans involved yelled out "Le Pen for president" and made Nazi salutes as they chased the officer and Hazout.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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