Bulgaria Court Keeps Under Arrest Potential Accomplice to Charlie Hebdo Terror Suspect
A Bulgarian court has to decide within seven days when to consider a French request to extradite a man suspected of having been linked to one of two Kouachi brothers who killed 12 people at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine last week.
According to Darina Slavova, a prosecutor in the city of Haskovo, no date for a sitting of the regional court on the extradition request has been set yet, BGNES news outlet reported.
Meanwhile, the court decided on Tuesday to keep Fritz-Joly Joachin, a French citizen of Haitian origin, under arrest.
Using a European arrest warrant issued by French prosecutors and alleging that Joachin, 29, had abducted his three-year-old son and was likely to take him to Syria, Bulgarian police arrested him on January 1 at Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint when he tried to cross into Turkey. Joaquin’s wife had reportedly told the police that the man was seeking to take the child to Syria to raise him in a jihadist community.
Then, following last week’s Islamist attacks in France, a second European arrest warrant against the man was issued by a Paris court, charging him with “participation in an organised crime group whose aim was the organisation of terrorist acts," AFP quoted Darina Slavova as saying.
The second arrest warrant was received at the regional court in Haskovo on Monday.
“It’s not our job to comment whether the French authorities have serious grounds or not,” Savova said on Tuesday, as quoted by BGNES.
“The arrest warrant is stating as fact that several days before leaving for Turkey, Joachin had had contacts with one of the Kouachi brothers. The warrant doesn’t say whether these contacts had been related to any terrorist activities or not.
“Those contacts could have been verbal, he said in the courtroom that they were old friends (but) he should not and could not be held responsible for their actions. However, it’s up to the French state to decide whether to bring charges against him,” said Savova.
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