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HUNTING

Hunter who killed Franco-British man as he chopped wood faces trial in France

A hunter and a hunt organiser are due in court in southwest France accused of manslaughter following the fatal shooting of Anglo-French man Morgan Keane in the Lot département.

Hunter who killed Franco-British man as he chopped wood faces trial in France
The death of Morgan Keane sparked an outcry (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP)

Keane was hit in the chest by a bullet from a boar hunter in December 2020 while chopping wood near his home in the village of Calvignac, nearly two hours north of Toulouse.

Hunter Julien Féral – who had a valid gun permit and had recently obtained a hunting licence – faces a maximum three-year prison sentence, a €75,000 fine and a ban on possessing a weapon, if found guilty by the court in Cahors. Hunt organiser Laurent Lapergue, 51, also faces a manslaughter charge.

It is rare in France for the organiser of a hunt to face court over incidents of mistaken shootings.

He reportedly told police that he was not familiar with the area in which the hunt was taking place. He said he had just fired at a boar, and then shot again when he spotted movement, assuming it was the animal.

Keane’s death sparked a campaign for tighter controls of hunting in France.

READ ALSO ‘We are treated like assassins’: Could hunters in France face alcohol ban?

The 25-year-old and his younger brother were living in the nearby house of their late parents when he was shot. 

In the 2021-22 hunting season, the Office français de biodiversité recorded a total of 90 hunting accidents in which people were injured as a result of a hunting weapon being discharged, including eight fatalities – one of them Keane.

In another story involving hunting that made headlines in France this week a father said he was beaten up by hunters who he accused of coming to close to his garden.

Xavier Gourgues, posted images of his injured face and his account of what happened on Facebook.

He said he confronted the group of hunters near his home near the village of Lussac in the Gironde region of south western France.

He said he was gardening with his son and wife when he heard whistles and shots ring out. He confronted the hunters and claimed around 10 of them attacked him and broke his telephone.

A police investigation is underway.

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Member comments

  1. There should be a ban on shooting of any sort except on specified shooting ranges within 2 kilometres of any habitation.
    I quite often pass notices on the road informing me that there is a hunt in progress. This is admittance that hunting is dangerous to passers by. And exactly what is one supposed to do? Change course? Change plans? just to suit a gang of hunters who are now interfering with my right to use public thoroughfares.

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CRIME

Teens charged in France over plot to attack Jewish targets: judicial source

French prosecutors have charged a 19-year-old man and a youth in the Paris region with planning a "terrorist" attack on Jewish targets, a judicial source told AFP on Friday.

Teens charged in France over plot to attack Jewish targets: judicial source

While no details on the pair have been released, French anti-terrorist investigators have expressed increased concern over the young age of some suspects detained in recent months for planning militant attacks.

The 19-year-old has been charged with “terrorist conspiracy” to commit attacks and the “acquisition and possession of arms for a terrorist enterprise,” said the judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

READ ALSO: Anti-Semitism fears stalk Jewish voters’ choice in France

The youth aged under 18 was detained on June 13, the source said.

The pair made contact on social media and were planning a “a violent action notably aiming at Jewish targets,” said the source without giving details on the plot.

Anti-terrorism investigators say a growing number of youths have been held in recent months for preparing attacks.

READ ALSO: French election breakdown: TV debates, polling latest and anti-Semitism

“This is a necessarily worrying phenomenon,” senior anti-terrorist prosecutor Olivier Christen said at an evidentiary hearing on Wednesday.

French politicians have also condemned a growing number of attacks on the country’s Jewish community, the biggest outside Israel and the United States.

Outrage has been expressed over the rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl in a park in the Paris suburbs last Saturday. Two 13-year-old boys have been charged with rape and making anti-Semitic insults.

Several protest rallies have been held in Paris and other French cities over the case which comes as France prepares for a national election in which the far-right National Rally party is tipped to make major gains. 

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