Dodgy dossier: scandal of investigation into petrol bomb attack on French police

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On April 18th 2021 five youths were found guilty on appeal of an attack in 2016 in which two police officers were set ablaze when their patrol car was pelted with petrol bombs in a Paris suburb. The five were given jail terms of between six and 18 years. Eight other youths were acquitted. The appeal verdict, which was more lenient than the original trial in 2019, caused outrage among some politicians and led to a protest march by angry police officers. But Mediapart can reveal that the real scandal was the way in which police detectives ran the initial investigation into the brutal attack in Viry-Châtillon. Officers truncated or cut out entire sections of what suspects said in custody. They also put pressure on them to implicate other youths from the area. Lawyers for some of those involved have described it as a “legal scandal” and formal complaints have now been made to prosecutors about the conduct of the detectives. Pascale Pascariello reports.

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When five youths were convicted and jailed and eight others acquitted last week over a petrol bomb attack in which two police officers were badly burned, there was outrage among some politicians and organisations representing the police. After the verdicts were announced on April 18th, police officers held a protest march to vent their anger at the outcome of the appeal hearing into the grim events that took place at Viry-Châtillon in the southern suburbs of Paris in 2016.