French prosecutors demand magazine’s withdrawal over Nice terror attack images

Relatives of the 86 victims of last year's Nice terror attack have been outraged at a magazine's publication of video surveillance images of the moment a jihadist's truck plowed into the crowd. Prosecutors are demanding the publication be withdrawn.

French prosecutors demand magazine's withdrawal over Nice terror attack images
Photo: AFP

The Paris prosecutor on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of the latest edition of Paris Match which contains surveillance camera images from last year's Bastille Day attack that killed 86 people in Nice.

It asked the court “to order the withdrawal from sale” of the weekly news magazine, which came out Thursday, and “ban publication in all formats, notably digital”, of the issue, which has angered the victims' families.

A judge is to rule on the request at 2pm French time.

The images in question were taken from video surveillance cameras along the Promenade des Anglais, where a Tunisian jihadist plowed his truck into the crowd who had been watching the annual July 14th fireworks show.

The images are believed to show the moments the truck struck the victims, although Paris Match insists no one can be identified.

An investigation is also underway over breach of confidentiality which will try to determine how Paris Match was able to get hold of the images.

Eric Morain, the lawyer for the victims of terror attacks said the images were “an attack on the dignity of both the victims and their families”.

Victims associations have also denounced the publication they say is based solely on a desire to be “sensational” and to create “a morbid and voyeuristic atmosphere” on the anniversary of the attack.

The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi described the images as “unbearable and abject”.

But the magazine's editor Olivier Royant justified the publication in a statement.

He said staff “had wanted to pay homage to the victims, by re-visiting them one year later… so that society does not forget them.”

Royant said many of the photos had already been published in the media as well as on TV. He said they images are taken from afar, without identifying anyone and without “attacking their dignity”.

This year, instead of a fireworks display that drew some 30,000 revellers last year to the famous Promenade des Anglais there will be candles, a memory book and a solemn speech by President Emmanuel Macron.


Man injured in Nice attack dies after three weeks in hospital

A man wounded in the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice died of his injuries on Thursday, hospital officials said, taking the death toll from the massacre to 85.

Man injured in Nice attack dies after three weeks in hospital
Photo: AFP

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian, rammed a 19-tonne lorry into revellers enjoying a July 14 fireworks display on Nice's seafront Promenade des Anglais before he was shot dead by police.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, left 434 people injured.

Nice's Pasteur hospital said the man who died Thursday had been on life support since the day of the attack.

Local newspaper Le Messager said he was a 56-year-old from France's eastern Haute-Savoie region, whose wife and son were also killed in the attack and whose 14-year-old daughter remains in hospital.

President Francois Hollande is facing mounting demands to improve security after a string of jihadist attacks, dating back to January 2015, when gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish store.

Then in November, 130 people were killed at restaurants, bars and a concert hall in Paris.