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Six teens convicted for role in beheading of French teacher

by Agence France Presse

PARIS, France: A French court on Friday convicted six teenagers for their role in the 2020 beheading of a teacher by a radicalized Islamist near Paris, in a case that horrified the country.

The prison sentences range from 14 months to two years, but all are suspended or commuted, and no defendant will serve jail time, according to a youth court judgment read at a public hearing after behind-closed-door proceedings.

Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old history and geography teacher, was stabbed and then beheaded near his secondary school in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on October 16, 2020.

His attacker, 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdoullakh Anzorov, was shot dead at the scene by police.

The young radicalized Islamist murdered Paty after messages spread on social media that the teacher had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The trial was held behind closed doors given the young ages — between 13 and 15 years old — of the defendants at the time of the events.

Five of the adolescents on trial, who were 14 or 15 at the time of Paty’s murder, were being tried for criminal conspiracy with intent to cause violence.

They were accused of having been on the lookout for Paty and identifying him to the killer in exchange for money.

Four of them received suspended sentences of between 14 and 18 months.

The fifth was sentenced to two years in prison, but 18 months of that was suspended and the teenager will be released with an electronic tag for the remaining six months.

A sixth teenager, a girl 13 at the time, was accused of false allegations for wrongly saying that Paty had asked Muslim students to identify themselves and leave the classroom before he showed the cartoons. She was not present in the class.

The girl was sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence.

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