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Father of Toulouse gunman wants to sue France for killing son

France 2 via AP

A photo taken from video and provided by TV station France 2 shows Mohamed Merah.

The father of Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah told FRANCE 24 that he wants to sue the French state for failing to capture his son alive.

Benanel Merah told the French television on Tuesday that police besieging his son’s Toulouse flat were "hasty" and they “could have used sleep-inducing gas and taken him like a baby.”

Merah hired Algiers-based lawyer Zahia Mokhtari, according to the BBC. Mokhtari told French media that Merah considered his son murdered by security services.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin, killed three Jewish children and a rabbi and three Muslim soldiers in southwestern France before he was shot by police commandos from the elite RAID unit after a 32-hour standoff in a suburban Toulouse apartment.


Merah's plan to take the French state to court has drawn criticism from French politicians, BBC reported.

"If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday, according to the BBC.

FRANCE 24 reported that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief adviser, Henri Guaino, told France Culture radio that while the man was “perfectly within his rights” to start legal proceedings, it would be “indecent."

“A little bit of decency right now would do everyone a lot of good," Guaino added. "To try to blame the state is the height of indecency. This monster killed in cold blood. French society owes him absolutely nothing.”

According to FRANCE 24, Merah left his family when Mohamed was 6 years old. His other son, Abdelkader, was placed under investigation for suspected complicity in the killing spree.

Mohamed's half-brother in Algeria, Rachid Merah, said his brother did not have any ties to al-Qaida, the BBC reported.

"I deny that formally, and I have doubts that he had any link with al-Qaida or Taliban or any terrorist organization in the world. And the fact that proves it is that France killed him before he could speak in a trial, while they could get him alive," Rachid Merah said.

Algerian authorities have not formally granted the Merah family's request to bury Mohamed in Algeria.

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