A French court has sentenced a 20-year-old man from the same neighbourhood as extremist gunman Mohamed Merah to three months in prison for praising his crimes, prosecutors in Toulouse said on Friday.
Mohamed Redha Ghezali was convicted on Thursday of “provoking racial hatred” and “apology for terrorism” and Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet said the conviction was a signal that authorities would not tolerate any statements supporting Merah's crimes.
Ghezali was arrested last Thursday in the Toulouse area of Les Izards a few hours after Merah was shot dead in a hail of bullets after a 32-hour siege that followed his killings of three soldiers and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school.
The Depeche du Midi reported that while haranguing a group of police officers, he said: “My mate Mohamed, that's a real man. It's too bad he didn't have time to finish the job.”