French vegan given suspended jail sentence for saying she had ‘no sympathy’ for butcher killed in terror attack


A French vegan has been handed a suspended prison sentence for saying she had “zero sympathy” for a butcher killed in last week’s terror attack.

The woman, named locally as Myriam, an animal rights activist, received a seven-month sentence after she posted on Facebook there was “some justice” in the murder of Christian Medves by Radouane Lakdim last Friday.

Moroccan-born Lakdim killed four people, including Mr Medves and gendarme Arnaud Beltrame, during a rampage centred on a supermarket in the town of Trebes.

Myriam, who lives in the nearby village of Saint Gaudens, subsequently posted: “So then, you are shocked that a murderer is killed by a terrorist. Not me. I’ve got zero compassion for him, there’s some justice in it.”

France’s butchers’ federation said it filed a legal complaint following the post, which has since been removed.

Myriam went before a judge on a charge of condoning terrorism, which carries a maximum jail sentence of five years and a fine of €75,000 (£66,000) under French law.

Her suspended sentence means she will not serve time in prison unless she re-offends, prosecutors told AFP.

Lt Col Beltrame was hailed a hero after exchanging himself for a female hostage during the siege. He was then stabbed several times while reportedly trying to disarm Lakdim. The terrorist was shot dead by police but Lt Col Beltrame’s injuries proved fatal.

President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday led a national tribute to Lt Col Beltrame, who was posthumously awarded France’s highest honour, the Legion d’HonneurA ceremony for the three civilians killed was held on Thursday morning.

In addition to Myriam’s prosecution, a left-wing activist and former political candidate received a one-year suspended sentence for celebrating Lt Col Beltrame’s killing.

Stéphane Poussier, who stood unsuccessfully for the La France insoumise party, had tweeted that the gendarme’s death was “great”, adding that “incidentally, it means one less Macron voter”.

Every time a police officer was hurt it made him think of a fellow activist who had been killed by a stun grenade during a protest some years earlier, he added, according to French media.

The party said the tweets, since removed along with Poussier’s Twitter account, were “shameful”.

Additional reporting by agencies