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'I acted in self-defence': metro death suspect

Matthew Warren · 7 Oct 2011, 08:08

Published: 07 Oct 2011 09:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2011 08:08 GMT+02:00

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The man arrested on suspicion of being responsible for the death of an Indian man on the Paris metro has been giving his version of events.

Police picked up 23-year-old Mohamed F on Tuesday, following a hunt that began after the death of Rajinder Singh on Thursday September 29th.

Reports said that Mr Singh went to the aid of a young woman who was being mugged by the 23-year-old on a metro train. The two became involved in a scuffle which spilled onto the platform at the Crimée station. This ended with Singh falling onto the tracks where he was electrocuted.

The suspect's lawyer, Augustin D'Ollone, said in an interview with newspaper 20 Minutes on Friday that his client denied pushing Mr Singh, who was known to his friends as Babu, and that he had been acting in self-defence.

"He took the metro at Stalingrad," said D'Ollone. "He offered some sweets to some young tourists who declined while laughing. Then he played with his keys, which annoyed Babu."

At this point, there was only a verbal exchange, according to the lawyer. However, Mohamed decided to get off the train at Crimée because "Babu was becoming aggressive."

Once on the platform, the lawyer claims the video surveillance footage shows "Babu, followed by five or six Indian friends, coming towards Mohamed" and then "manhandling" him. 

"He stops, then comes back and grabs him and pushes him to the ground. Mohamed picks himself up, defends himself and pushes him. Babu then steps backward, loses his balance and falls onto the tracks."

The lawyer also claims that Mohamed did not try to steal a phone from anyone, which had originally been reported as the source of the dispute. Police are continuing to look for the young woman who was supposedly the victim of the attempted robbery.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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