On May 3, France finally managed to send back to Algeria Fettah Malki, sentenced in France for having provided a weapon to Mohammed Merah before he killed three soldiers, three children and a teacher of a Jewish school, in 2012 , in Toulouse and Montauban. According to the newspaper OpinionJean Castex’s action during his last weeks at Matignon was decisive.
In the first instance of the trial of Merah’s brother, Abdelkader, Fettah Malki presented himself as a “normal offender”, not at all versed in religion. He had been sentenced to 14 years in prison for criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise. In Merah, of which he could not be unaware “all of the radical Islamist commitment”, had revealed the special Assize Court of Paris, he had provided an Uzi submachine gun, chargers including ammunition and a bulletproof vest. On appeal, his sentence was reduced to ten years in prison, and he was released last summer, after a cumulative eight years. He should then have been deported to Algeria, his country of origin, but Algeria had refused his extradition.
“I had made it a personal subject”
Last November, Malki was reconvicted to three months for not respecting the conditions of his release. Jean Castex obtained his departure from France on May 3. “I had made it a personal subject,” he confided a few days before his departure from Matignon. At the end of September, France had decided to reduce to one in two the visas granted to travelers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to oppose these countries to issue the consular passes necessary for the return of the deportees. “We do it because some of the Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian compatriots who are on French soil are no longer accepted by these countries either because they are people who are radical Islamists, or because they are disabled” or illegal . “Upon them said as long as you do not take back your compatriots, we do not accept your compatriots “, had justified the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.
Less intense tensions, Jean Castex reconnected with his Algerian counterpart, Aïmene Benabderrahmane, in particular by going on an official visit to Algiers at the end of April. He would have insisted on the Malki case. And “they took it back”, welcomed a few days ago, without giving details.