PARIS (Reuters) - The sister of an al Qaeda-inspired gunman who killed seven people in France plans to sue a television channel that broadcast secretly filmed footage of her saying she was proud of her brother, her lawyer said.
Souad Merah, sister of Mohamed Merah, the 24-year-old who killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three soldiers last March, plans to sue TV channel M6, which acknowledges the footage in question was recorded on hidden camera.
“Naturally, Souad Merah is going to file a complaint,” her lawyer, Christian Etelin, told Reuters.
State prosecutors ordered an inquiry on Monday to establish whether the woman could be pursued for condoning terrorism after M6 aired the documentary in which she made the incriminating remarks to another brother.
Mohamed Merah died in a hail of police bullets as he jumped, gun-in-hand, from a window of his apartment in the southwestern city of Toulouse after a 30-hour siege.
One of his brothers, Abdelkader Merah, has been placed under judicial inquiry after admitting he helped Mohamed steal a scooter used in the killing spree, but says he did not know how the scooter would be used and denies any role in the shootings.
In the M6 documentary, Souad Merah addresses another brother, Abdelghani, who has just published a book unreservedly condemning Mohamed Merah.
In the conversation recorded on hidden camera, she says of Mohamed : “I’m proud of my brother. He fought to the very end.”
She also said she thought highly of dead al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“She (Souad) feels she was trapped and betrayed by her brother (Abdelghani),” her lawyer Etelin said.
Reporting by Guillaume Serries in Toulouse and Gerard Bon in Paris; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Robin Pomeroy