Hostages of Paris Kosher supermarket siege sue French media

Lawyer for group of surviving hostages tells AFP: Media coverage of raid endangered lives of victims, "lacked the most basic precautions."

April 3, 2015 18:00
1 minute read.
kosher supermarket in Paris

Police raid a kosher supermarket in Paris . (photo credit: COURTESY OF BFMTV)


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A group of surviving hostages of January's deadly siege at a Kosher store in Paris have sued French media for broadcasting the standoff and endangering the lives of victims, according to AFP.

On January 9, Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibly killed four Jewish hostages at the Hyper Cacher supermarket days after 12 people were killed in a separate attack at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The group of six people who hid during the attack have filed a lawsuit, charging media outlets of disregarding security protocols and endangering the lives of others. According to AFP, the suit carries a maximum penalty of a year imprisonment and a fine of $16,300 (15,000 euro).

Following the complaint, prosecutors in Paris launched an investigation this week examining whether BFMTV broke the law when it broadcast live reports about the location of hostages.

Media footage of the police raid on the supermarket "lacked the most basic precautions," Patrick Klugman, a lawyer for the group, told AFP Thursday.

The attorney blasted televised coverage of the movements of security forces at the scene, and pointed at French news channel BFMTV - which the gunman had at one point contacted - for its live footage revealing that store-goers were hiding from the gunman in a walk-in freezer.

Klugman told AFP that the terrorist had been monitoring media coverage of the events, adding that the lives of the hostages "could have been at risk if Coulibaly had been aware in real time what BFMTV was broadcasting."

"The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime," AFP quoted the lawyer as saying.

The Hyper Cacher supermarket reopened in mid-March.

JTA contributed to this report.

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