Family of Toulouse gunman Merah sue over his death

By Jennifer Lipman, June 12, 2012
Mohammed Merah

Mohammed Merah

The family of the man who murdered four people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse in March has begun legal action, alleging that the gunman was murdered.

Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people during his shooting spree in France, died after a 32-hour stand-off with police in an apartment in Toulouse. Two officers were wounded during the exchange of fire.

But despite the fact that he admitted to the murders before his death, his family is claiming that his demise was "murder with aggravated circumstances".

Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, one of the lawyers representing the Merah family, suggested on Monday that they believed the police unit who handled the raid should have done more to capture the gunman alive.

"You have 300 or 400 over-armed people, and one guy alone in his apartment, closed in," said Ms Coutant-Peyre, who previously represented the Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

The family's lawyers also said that they had videos in which Merah protested his innocence, and other "serious evidence" to support the case.

Last updated: 10:28am, June 12 2012