The family of Samuel Paty, a French secondary school teacher who was beheaded for showing students caricatures of the Islamic prophet Mohammad, has filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor’s office against the Macron administration, accusing officials of failing to take protective measures that would’ve prevented the brutal murder.
Virginie Le Roy, the lawyer of the sisters and parents of Samuel Paty, announced on Wednesday that the complaint had targeted the French intelligence agencies as well as the interior and education ministries, blaming state officials for underestimating the risk of an attack and for failing to take adequate preventative measures, the Paris-based Le Figaro reports.
“I have always been firmly convinced that this attack could have been prevented. Today, concrete elements confirm this conviction. Mistakes were made both on the side of the National Education and the Ministry of the Interior, without which Samuel Paty could have been saved,” Le Roy said.
“It is essential that all the light be shed and that the family of Samuel Paty obtain the truth. This can only be achieved through a careful and independent examination of the preventive measures taken by the state agents. Therefore, I also ask that a parliamentary inquiry be carried out,” she added.
The 80-page complaint filed by Le Roy hones in on two offenses: “failure to prevent a crime and failure to assist a person in danger,” and targets “several officials in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of National Education” who had been aware—either directly or indirectly—of the threats Samuel Paty faced in the days preceding his death.
Among other things, the complaint recounts the events of early October 2020, where in a series of lectures on secularism and free speech, Samuel Paty showed students Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammad—an act which ultimately culminated in Abdoullakh Anzorov, a radicalized Chechen Islamist, repeatedly stabbing then beheading Paty.
Although the staff at Paty’s school had identified the presence of a severe threat, not only to their physical health but also to the security of the school, agents at the interior ministry, who were also aware of the threat, failed to provide any protection.
“When you have a threat that comes to a teacher whose name is very quickly broadcast on social networks and who is accused of blasphemy for having shown caricatures to students, it was quite obvious that they were on extremely sensitive ground, and that police protection was essential,” Le Roy argued.
Le Roy also notes in the complaint that, prior to its filing, “the family of Samuel Paty questioned the ministries concerned and asked them for the transmission of several information and documents, they did not obtain any response” from the ministries.
So far, anti-terrorist security services have arrested and indicted 15 people as a part of their ongoing investigation into Paty’s murder. The investigations are expected to conclude by the end of this year.