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Outrage in France as police hunt hit-and-run driver who killed 9-year-old

French police have intensified a manhunt for a driver who killed a nine-year-old boy of Turkish origin and then fled the scene, in a hit-and-run accident that has sparked nationwide outrage.

Outrage in France as police hunt hit-and-run driver who killed 9-year-old
On Thursday, around 1,000 people, including many children, joined a silent march for the 9-year-old through Lorient. Photo: AFP
A cousin, aged seven, of the boy was also critically injured in the incident Sunday in the northwestern seaport town of Lorient.
   
The driver was fleeing a roadside spot check by police and did not stop after hitting the two children who were on the pavement at the time. 
   
Police immediately launched a manhunt for the 20-year-old driver and his female passenger, 21, who abandoned their vehicle several hundred metres from the scene and fled on foot. 
   
The female passenger turned herself in late Wednesday and has been detained for failing to assist a person in danger, a police source said. 
 
People gather at the place where two children were hit by a car in Lorient, western France, before taking part in a silent march. Photo: AFP    
 
More than 500 people turned out for the boy's funeral on Wednesday in a Muslim ceremony held at a local Turkish cultural association. 
   
That evening, the family flew to Turkey where the child's body was to be buried in the eastern town of Agri, near the border with Armenia.
   
Speaking on behalf of the family, Ahmet Makas, a member of the Turkish cultural association, called on the driver to “turn himself in” and “take responsibility for his actions”. 
 
'Covered in blood'
 
On Thursday, around 1,000 people, including many children, joined a silent march through Lorient. 
 
Carrying white roses, the crowd walked through the town, stopping to leave the flowers at the spot where the two boys were mown down, with many people 
reduced to tears, an AFP correspondent said.
   
Among the marchers was Virginie Rouxel, who was in the area at the time of the incident with her young daughter who goes to the same school as the boy who died. 
   
She said she saw a white vehicle zigzagging away several moments after the crash and the driver running away. 
   
“My daughter and I saw the boy covered in blood. It was really shocking. 
 
When we got home, my daughter drew a picture of the accident,” said the 35-year-old, indicating she would seek psychological counselling.
   
The seven-year-old, who remains in serious condition at a hospital in the northwestern French city of Brest. 

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CRIME

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Frenchman Sebastien Raoult pleaded not guilty to cybercrimes Friday in Seattle federal court, two days after he was extradited from Morocco.

Frenchman extradited to US on hacking charges pleads not guilty

Federal Judge Michelle Peterson told the 21-year-old Raoult that he was charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, computer intrusion, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Raoult listened through an interpreter.

After Raoult’s plea of not guilty, the judge ordered him to be detained as a flight risk until a hearing April 3.

Moroccan authorities arrested Raoult at Rabat airport May 31 at the request of the US Department of Justice. Along with Raoult, two other French nationals were also arrested, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22.

According to Raoult’s indictment, he and the other two men are alleged to have formed a hacking team, dubbed “ShinyHunters,” to steal confidential data from 60 companies to sell on the dark web where criminals routinely operate.

Some of the companies are located in the Seattle area.

According to experts, beginning in 2020, the hackers stole customer data from the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the US clothing brand Bonobos, the US telecom AT&T and many other companies, putting the personal data for sale on the dark web.

The criminal charges carry a possible jail term of up to 27 years in prison.

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