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France admits 150 Russian hooligans escaped arrest

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France admits 150 Russian hooligans escaped arrest
Photo: AFP
12:00 CEST+02:00
French prosecutors admitted on Monday that some 150 hardcore Russian hooligans escaped arrest after the weekend of violence in Marseille. Only ten fans face trial on Monday despite three days of trouble.

Some 150 suspected Russian football hooligans escaped arrest for fan violence, while another ten fans from Britain,
France and Austria will face trial on Monday, the Marseille prosecutor said.

On Saturday, 35 mostly English fans were injured, three seriously, in the worst violence at an international tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France, with an England football supporter in "critical but stable" condition, Brice Robin told a news conference.

"His attackers have not been identified," Robin said.

Most of the English fans were injured after being set upon by "heavily trained" Russian hooligan gangs intent on violence.

At the end of the match at the Stade Velodrome Russian supporters charged into a section containing England fans, which prompted many to flee in panic.

But prosecutors admitted that despite the presence of over 1,000 police in Marseille, the hooligans escaped arrest.

"They came to fight. We are viewing the monitoring images to identify the perpetrators of violence," said Robin. 

British police "spotters" who were in Marseille, said they would hand their video evidence to French authorities to help them track down and arrest those Russians suspected of being behind the violence.

Meanwhile six Britons, one Austrian and three French spectators will be tried Monday for the violence in Marseille, he said.

That appeals a small number given that violence flared in the city over three days, of which a large number of so-called England fans joined in.

Prosecutors said 20 arrests were made in total over the three days in Marseille.

Robin said the prosecution would request jail sentences for the defendants as well as a ban on entering French territory.

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