Monday 16 March 2015

French police trial over 2005 Zyed and Bouna deaths

Two police officers are to appear in a French court accused of failing to help two teenagers whose deaths at a power substation prompted weeks of rioting.

Bouna Traore, 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, were electrocuted in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois in October 2005.
Police had chased the boys as they made their way home from a football match.
Almost 10 years on, a court in Rennes will decide whether Sebastien Gaillemin and Stephanie Klein knew the boys were in danger but did nothing to help.
The case has dragged through the courts for years, with France's highest court overturning in 2012 a ruling that dropped a "failure to help" charge against them.
Police were called when a neighbour saw a group of boys crossing a building site. Three of the youths entered the EDF power facility and one survived with severe burns.

Clichy is a largely immigrant ghetto and one of France's most notorious "banlieues" (suburbs).
The 21 days of rioting that followed in communities across France led to the first state of emergency for more than 20 years.
The banlieues have long been seen as breeding grounds for political and religious extremists and Prime Minister Manuel Valls spoke of a "territorial, social and ethnic apartheid" in France's ghettoes in January, days after the Paris attacks that left 17 people killed.

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