• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Fatal skinhead attack on activist caught on video

Ben McPartland · 25 Jun 2013, 09:46

Published: 25 Jun 2013 09:46 GMT+02:00

Three weeks after French left-wing activist Clément Meric was killed in a confrontation with far-right skinheads, French police have got their hands on a video which may explain exactly what happened, radio station RTL have claimed.

Meric was killed after an angry exchange of words between left-wing activists and right-wing skinheads when they met by chance at a private clothing sale in an apartment on Rue Caumartin in the 9th arrondissement of Paris on June 5th.

As the confrontation escalated, Meric was punched unconscious. He was pronounced brain dead in hospital the following day.

It was initially believed that there were no CCTV images of the attack, but now it has emerged that a street surveillance camera belonging to transport company RATP, captured the fatal clash.

According to RTL, the video appears to show that Meric confronted his attacker, apparently intending to strike him. As he approached, the alleged attacker turned and threw a punch, striking Meric in the face. The blow knocked him unconscious.

He immediately fell to the ground but did not receive further punches and kicks as he lay on the ground as was initially believed, RTL claims.

However an article in French daily Liberation, quoting sources close to the investigation claims the police do not share the version of events presented by RTL. According to Liberation's source the video only shows kicks being exchanged between several youths.

The man who is suspected of delivering the fatal punch is Esteban Morillo, aged in his 20s, who was arrested in the aftermath of the fight along with four other far-right radicals, including a 32-year-old woman.

Story continues below…

Morillo is likely to face manslaughter charges after police sources say he admitted throwing a punch but insisted he did not mean to kill the student.

Meric's violent death brought condemnation from across the political spectrum and prompted thousands of people to take to the streets in Paris and other major cities in protest.

France's tough-talking Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls pledged a "merciless" crackdown on far-right organisations and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault ordered the "dissolution" of the group allegedly linked to the death.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
EU picks Frenchman to lead Brexit talks with UK
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman will lead the fraught Brexit talks between the EU and the UK over the coming years.

France seeks unity and resists calls to toughen terror laws
Photo: AFP

Does France need tough new laws or cohesion and unity among its communities?

The best and worst things about France in the summer
Photo: AFP

There are some things that make France the best place to be in summer, and then there are others that drive us mad.

Air France passengers set for week of travel misery
Photo: AFP

One third of Air France flights to be scrapped on Wednesday as week-long strike begins.

How was 'ticking time bomb' free to attack French church?
Photo taken from Facebook page believed to belong to Adel Kermiche.

France facing more questions about security measures after priest slain during mass by known extremist who was awaiting trial.

France faces same big questions after latest attack
Photo: AFP

The latest terror attack has left France facing similar questions to those it has tackled numerous times since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January last year. So how will France react?

Muslim leaders denounce attack on French church
CFCM President Anouar Kbibech in front of the Grande Mosque in Paris, June 2015. Photo: AFP

France's Muslim leaders have denounced Tuesday's apparent terror attack at a church, and called for the country's Muslims to band together in support.

French workers 'pay the most taxes in Europe'
Photo: AFP

From tomorrow the French will be the only workers in Europe still handing over money to the taxman.

Church mourns loss of slain 86-year-old French priest
Photo: AFP

Father Jacques Hamel could have retired at 75 but believed he could still be of service so carried on.

What we know about the attack on the French church
Photo: AFP

A priest was killed after armed men took over a church in northern France, before they too were killed by police. Here is what we know.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,765
jobs available