How Paris trial shone light on violent, hate-filled world of Merah family


On Thursday November 2nd, 2017, Abdelkader 'Kader' Merah was cleared of being an accomplice to his brother Mohamed's 2012 murder of three soldiers and four Jewish civilians, including three children, in south-west France, but found guilty of being part of a terrorist conspiracy. Mediapart examines what the trial in Paris revealed about the family from which both men came. As Matthieu Suc reports, it was a family characterised by casual, routine violence and hatred, against a backdrop of anti-Semitism and radical Islam.

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At home the eldest brother Abdel hit his younger brother Kader. Kader in turn stabbed his older sibling. Kader tied up and hit the youngest brother Mohamed, while Abdel hit his little sisters Souad and Aïcha. Kader, too, hit his big sisters Souad and Aïcha, as did the youngest boy Mohamed. Their mother, Zoulikha, meanwhile defended the sons who beat her daughters. This was the Merah family whose youngest member Mohamed in March 2012 murdered seven people in south-west France, three soldiers and four Jews, including three children, before being killed by police.