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French former interior minister accused of concealing evidence in death of 80yo killed by riot police tear gas grenade in her home

French former interior minister accused of concealing evidence in death of 80yo killed by riot police tear gas grenade in her home
The daughter of an 80-year-old woman killed when a tear gas grenade was fired into her apartment by French riot police two years ago has filed a legal complaint against former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner over the death.

In 2018, Zineb Redouane was closing the shutters of her flat in Marseille when she was struck by the canister, fired during a Yellow Vest demonstration. Experts estimated it had been travelling at more than 97km/h when it hit her chest and face, and she died in hospital shortly thereafter. A report earlier this year into the incident cleared the police of any wrongdoing. 

However, a recent investigation conducted by the French non-governmental organization Disclose, using reconstructions by a research group at the University of London, contradicted that report and alleged that the officer who had fired the canister was targeting residential homes.

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As a result of the NGO’s findings, Redouane’s daughter, Milfed, has now lodged a legal complaint against Castaner, who was the interior minister at the time of her mother’s death. 

Her daughter’s lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, has repeatedly accused the former minister and others of obstructing justice, and now, in the formal complaint, is accusing him of concealing and interfering with evidence.

Castaner, who currently leads the ruling La République En Marche! party, has repeatedly claimed Redouane’s death was not linked with the tear gas grenade. In 2019, pronouncing claims that police killed her as false, he told France’s Inter radio station, “We must stop this talk of police violence”. 

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The complaint will now be heard before the Cour de Justice de la République – a special court that was set up to try cases of ministerial misconduct.

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