A father of two who was pushed onto the tracks of the Paris metro as a train approached has been reliving his nightmare as the man accused of the attack faces trial.

"/> A father of two who was pushed onto the tracks of the Paris metro as a train approached has been reliving his nightmare as the man accused of the attack faces trial.

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CRIME

Metro push man relives his nightmare

A father of two who was pushed onto the tracks of the Paris metro as a train approached has been reliving his nightmare as the man accused of the attack faces trial.

Metro push man relives his nightmare
LoboStudio Hamburg

Renaud Roussillon, a 41-year-old architect, was waiting for a train at the Grande Arche de la Défense station in Paris’ busiest business district at 11.20am one morning in April 2009 when he was suddenly pushed from behind.

Roussillon was trapped under the metro train for an hour and a half while emergency services tried to free him. After the attack one of his legs had to be amputated. 

The accused is a homeless man who was waiting on the platform. He admitted the attack but said he was not in his right mind that day.

“I lost control and pushed him with both hands, seized by anger, irritation,” he said. “I’m really sorry.”

Roussillon left the courtroom when closed circuit footage was shown of the moment when he was pushed.

He still finds it difficult to understand why he was attacked.

“We didn’t look at each other or speak to each other, it was just that he couldn’t stand the sight of me,” he told radio station France Info. 

“I didn’t have an iPhone or any sign of wealth like a nice watch,” he said. “Since the 10th of April 2009 I feel like I’ve been given a life sentence without being given any choice.”

The man’s attacker has been given psychological tests to check his state of mind and a verdict is expected later on Friday.

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CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

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