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.
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.