Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Suspect handed preliminary charges over beheading his boss

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2015 | 3:06 PM
Laurence and Kevin (centre), wife and son of Herve Cornara, react during a quiet march in Fontaines-sur-Saone, near Lyon, central France, yesterday.


French investigators yesterday handed preliminary murder and terrorism charges to a man accused of beheading his boss at a French gas factory and suspected of ties to Islamic State extremists.

Yassin Salhi was handed a long list of charges and ordered to remain in custody, Paris prosecutor's office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. Preliminary charges under French law mean that investigators have a strong reason to suspect involvement in a crime, and give them more time for deeper investigation before deciding whether to send the case to trial.


Salhi was arrested after the attack Friday in southeast France, which also prompted an explosion and two light injuries - and put the country back on high alert after deadly extremist attacks in January.

According to his lawyer, Salhi said he was acting purely for personal reasons after being reprimanded by his employer.

With a long-bladed knife and a gun in hand - as well as two brand-new flags emblazoned with the Muslim declaration of faith, Salhi tricked his boss into getting into the van, knocked him unconscious and strangled him, Molins said.

About 500 metres (a quarter-mile) before reaching the plant, he decapitated his victim and then, almost immediately, sent two photos of the remains to a friend in Syria: One was a selfie, and the other included an image of the severed head placed carefully on the torso.