Six French teenagers convicted over roles in Islamic extremist's killing of teacher

Samuel Paty, 47, was killed outside his school in 2020 by an 18-year-old assailant

Pedestrians pass by a poster depicting French teacher Samuel Paty in the city centre of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. AFP
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A French court on Friday convicted six teenagers in connection with the 2020 murder of history teacher Samuel Paty, whose killing shocked the country.

The teacher had shown his pupils caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on freedom of expression, angering some Muslim parents.

Most Muslims avoid depictions of prophets, considering them to be blasphemous.

Among those on trial was a teenage girl who had allegedly told her parents that Mr Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the room before showing the caricatures.

The court found her guilty of having made false accusation charges and slanderous comments, as it was established that she was not in the class at the time.

The other adolescents were found guilty of charges related to taking part in a premeditated criminal conspiracy and helping to prepare an ambush.

Mr Paty, 47, was killed and beheaded outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old assailant of Chechen origin, who was shot dead by police soon after the attack.

The court found those adolescents as guilty of having pointed out Mr Paty to the murderer.

The heaviest sentence was given to an adolescent who was formally given a six-month prison sentence, although he should be able to serve this at home while under electronic surveillance.

The girl who was found guilty of making false accusations and slanderous comments was given an 18-month suspended sentence and put on probation measures for two years.

Updated: December 08, 2023, 9:06 PM