(PARIS) — The father of Toulouse school shooter Mohamed Merah has threatened to sue the French government for killing his son in a shootout rather than capturing him alive, and has vowed not to “shut up” despite a scathing reaction from French officials.
In an interview with the television network France 24, Benalel Merah said police could have used “sleeping gas” to take his son “like a baby,” and accused the police of acting hastily.
“Why did they kill him?” asked Benalel Merah. “He could have been sentenced to many years in prison or even a life sentence. There is no death penalty in France.”
Merah told French media he would “hire the biggest-named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay their costs. I will sue France for having killed my son.”
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe responded to Merah’s threat by saying, “If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame.”
Merah then told Algerian media that he would not “shut up” despite Juppe’s comment.
Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian ancestry, was killed last week with a shot to the head after a 32-hour siege by French police. Before he died, he confessed to killing three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren in three separate attacks.
On Tuesday, the Paris office of the television news network Al Jazeera said it had received a memory stick in the mail with edited footage of all three attacks, apparently shot by Merah himself, but said it would not air the footage.
Police have arrested Merah’s 29-year-old brother Abdelkader and charged him as an accomplice in the attacks. Officials also raised the possibility of a second accomplice, saying they did not believe Merah or his brother could’ve mailed the attack video — which was postmarked last Wednesday, the day of the siege — to Al Jazeera.
Mohamed Merah’s body is being shipped to Algeria and will arrive Thursday, according to relatives who spoke to French media.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio