Letter from suspect in Paris attacks criticized media, prosecutor says

CNN
Friday, November 22, 2013 - 1:00am

  A man suspected in a series of attacks in Paris, including a shooting Monday at a daily newspaper, had written a "confused" letter accusing journalists of being paid "to make citizens swallow lies with a small spoon," Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters here Thursday.

The letter was given to police by an acquaintance of the suspect, Abdelhakim Dekhar, Molins said. "He attacks capitalism and the dehumanization of the suburbs," the prosecutor added.

Dekhar, who was born in 1965 and had lived in London for several years, was arrested Wednesday night after the acquaintance identified him as the man whose picture had been circulated by police as the suspect in the shooting on Monday of a 23-year-old photographer's assistant at the daily newspaper Liberation in Paris.

The assistant, who was shot twice in the chest, was recovering Thursday in a hospital, Molins said.

The acquaintance, who met Dekhar 13 years ago in a London restaurant where they both worked, told police that he had accompanied Dekhar early Wednesday to an underground parking garage in the northwest suburb of Bois Colombes, and that Dekhar had told him he wanted to kill himself, Molins said.

That evening, investigators found the man inside the garage -- "half-conscious" after ingesting medication -- and took him to a Paris-area hospital, Molins said.

Investigators also found a letter typed by Dekhar expressing his last wishes and medication, but did not find the weapon used in the shooting, Molins said.

DNA samples linked him to bullet shell casings and a car that was seized Monday, the prosecutor said. That car had been carjacked near the Societe Generale bank towers in the Paris neighborhood of La Defense.

Authorities also suspect that last Friday, Dekhar broke into BFMTV, a television news channel, and threatened journalists with a gun before fleeing.

His record includes having served two four-year terms for other offenses, Molins said.

Authorities were studying a 15-year-old psychiatric report on Dekhar to try to understand his motivation.

"He was not shown as being mad; in fact there were no psychiatric abnormalities at the time -- it was just that the experts noted at the time, given his speech tendencies, of being obsessive," Molins said.

On Thursday, French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that Dekhar's capture "prevented the worst from happening again."
 

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