Hermann Fuster, the man who assaulted Nicolas Sarkozy in June, has apologized in the media, saying he never meant to attack the president. He has said the incident has convinced him to stop smoking marijuana.

"/> Hermann Fuster, the man who assaulted Nicolas Sarkozy in June, has apologized in the media, saying he never meant to attack the president. He has said the incident has convinced him to stop smoking marijuana.

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CRIME

Sarkozy attacker apologizes to president

Hermann Fuster, the man who assaulted Nicolas Sarkozy in June, has apologized in the media, saying he never meant to attack the president. He has said the incident has convinced him to stop smoking marijuana.

Fuster, 32, who was given a six-month suspended jail sentence for grabbing the French leader’s jacket during a meet-and-greet session on June 30th and almost pulling him to the ground, gave interviews with several media outlets saying he “sincerely regrets” his actions and that he “is not a violent person.”

“I first tried to shake his hand … then I wanted to tap him on the shoulder,” Fuster said in an interview with website 20minutes.fr. “But the second I touched his suit, the guards behind me grabbed me and threw me back.”

He said he grabbed hold of Sarkozy’s jacket to keep from falling “like anyone would who is toppling over” and the French leader was dragged down with him.

Sarkozy had come to the south-western French town of Brax to attend a meeting of mayors and welcome back two French hostages who had been released after 18 months in Taliban captivity. During the incident, he would have likely fallen to the ground had he not been able to catch himself on a metal barricade.

The president was quickly surrounded by stunned bodyguards who also immediately immobilized Fuster, a caretaker and receptionist at a local conservatory in the nearby town of Agen. He is currently on suspension from his job.

The president himself did not press charges although Fuster could have received a three-year sentence and had to pay tens of thousands in fines for assaulting a public figure. It was the first time Sarkozy had been physically assaulted at close quarters.

Despite the media circus and the job suspension, Fuster said there has been a silver lining.

“I’ve stopped smoking cannabis and I go out now with friends instead of staying home by myself,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to become a poster-child for anti-Sarkozy forces.

Still, he did have a message for the president.

“I would tell him to listen to the people who elected him,” he told newspaper Le Parisien. “I didn’t vote for him myself, but I have to think about all those workers who believed his promises and who are disappointed today.”

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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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