Paris bar owner fined for selling terror attacks video to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper

Paris bar owner fined for selling terror attacks video to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper
Photo: AFP
The owner of a Paris restaurant who sold shocking video footage to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper of the moment jihadists targeted his bar during the Paris terror attacks, has been convicted and fined by a French court.

The disturbing film, which made headlines around the world, showed the moment terrorist gunmen opened fire on terrified clients and staff at the Casa Nostra restaurant on the night of November 13th 2015, when some 130 people were killed at various bars, the Bataclan concert hall and the Stade de France.

This week Casa Nostra owner Dimitri Mohamadi (see photo), 45, was found guilty of “disclosing video images to an unauthorized person”.

Hidden camera footage filmed by a French journalist that emerged just days after the attack appeared to show Mohamadi selling the footage to a reporter from Britain's Daily Mail newspaper for €50,000.

He had apparently tried to sell the footage, which features the horrifying moment one gunman points his Kalashnikov at the head of a woman before it appears to jam, to other French news sites.

While he had denied profiting from any sale, a French court handed him a €10,000 fine. Two accomplices were also fined €5,000 and €1,500. The three have also been ordered to pay €6,000 each to five civil parties who had pressed charges over the affair.

Two men and a young woman had lodged a formal complaint after recognising themselves in the video. They told court the images had had a severe impact on them and their families.

The deal, which took over 24-hours to complete due to the difficulty the Daily Mail had in getting the cash together, was apparently carried out without police permission.

According to the French freelance journalist Djaffer Ait Aoudia, who filmed the negotiations and the handover of cash on a hidden camera, police had viewed the footage and then ordered a technician to encrypt it.

But in the end he simply organised for a hacker friend of his to decrypt the footage so it could be sold on, Aoudia claimed.

The journalist's undercover footage was shown on the Canal Plus programme Le Petit Journal.

After the story of the sale emerged the Daily Mail defended their purchase of the CCTV images.

In a statement the Daily Mail read: “There is nothing controversial about the Mail's acquisition of this video, a copy of which the police already had in their possession. It was obtained against stiff competition from French and international media outlets and provided a vital perspective on a massive global news story.

“The publication of the video – one of many that emerged in the aftermath of the events in Paris – on MailOnline and stills in the paper was demonstrably in the public interest.”

The sale did not go down well with the grieving French public and Casa Nostra's owner Mohamadi became a hate figure.

A social media campaign urged people to leave comments and bad reviews on the restaurant's Facebook page and on Google.

“You should at least have respect for all the victims by apologizing and then giving this dirty money to their parents,” said one online commenter, summing up the anger.

“Shameful to decrypt the video and then sell it. Boycott the restaurant Casa Nostra,” said another.