Justice is still unaware of the motivations of the alleged perpetrator of the Annecy attack, whose state of psychiatric health must still be apprehended with caution. It was certainly not observed “frank delusional elements” during Abdalmasih H’s police custody. But it is still too early to know whether or not he suffers from a psychiatric pathology. This is one of the main lessons of the press briefing held on Saturday 10 by Annecy prosecutor Line Bonnet who, moreover, announced that the victims of the attack are now out of danger.
A state compatible with police custody
The magistrate announced, as one might expect, the indictment of the suspect for “attempted murders” and “rebellion with weapons”. During his police custody, he was seen by a psychiatrist who considered that his condition was compatible with his hearing by the judicial police. “The psychiatrist noted the absence of frank delusional elements. However, it is premature to assess the possible absence or presence of psychiatric pathologies at this stage,” said Line Bonnet.
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At the end of police custody, he was brought this Saturday before two investigating judges. After his indictment, he was presented to a judge of freedoms and detention who decided to place him in pre-trial detention. He did not wish to speak before the judges, nor before the investigators according to the prosecutor. “As it stands, it is premature to assess the motivations of his act,” said Line Bonnet. Witnesses told the police that they heard him mention his wife, his daughter and “the name of Jesus Christ”. This confirms what appeared in a video posted on social networks: we hear the assailant declaim twice in English: “in the name of Jesus Christ”.
“In the name of Jesus Christ”: where does the formula used by the attacker from Annecy come from?
According to the prosecutor, the man was found in possession of a folding knife, two Christian images, a cross around his neck, €480 in cash and a Swedish driving licence. According to the first elements of the investigation, he arrived in Sweden in 2013, a country which he left in May 2022 to join Italy, Switzerland and then France. He filed an asylum application on October 27, 2022 at the Isère prefecture. This request was sent the following month to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra). It was rejected on the “ground that he already benefited from protection in Sweden”, according to the prosecutor. This refusal was notified to him “electronically” on June 4, four days before the attack.
A homeless man who lived in the common areas of a building
According to the prosecutor, he was in a regular situation in France. For the moment, the investigation has provided little information on his journey in France, apart from the fact that he was homeless. Witnesses said he lived in the common areas of a building in downtown Annecy. He was not known to the police and justice services.
The magistrate gave some information on the course of the attack. A first “sequence” took place on a playground where Abdalmasih H injured the four children and an adult with his knife. Several people then managed to put the assailant to flight, who was arrested 300 meters away by five police officers. This arrest took place when the suspect had just struck several knives at a man who, during the intervention of the police, received a bullet fired by one of them.
Abdominal and chest wounds
The prosecutor also gave details of the state of health of six physically injured people. Abdalmasih H first attacked two children of French nationality, from Haute-Savoie, who were at the park with their grandmother. The first, a two-year-old boy, received two stab wounds in the chest and abdomen. Her sister, also 2 years old, had three chest wounds. Both had their vital prognosis engaged and underwent emergency surgery
The third victim, aged 3, of English nationality, was stabbed but is expected to be discharged from hospital in the coming days. She was on vacation with her parents. Finally, a Dutch girl, who will be two years old in August, was transported to Geneva where she was taken care of in absolute urgency but without her prognosis having been engaged. His parents, present at his side, have not yet been heard by the investigators. The medical examiner who examined her said she had three wounds but none in a vital area
Two other adults were injured. A man, born in 1947, was lightly hit in the elbow and was able to return to his home. The second is the one who was stabbed and shot by a police officer during the arrest. His vital prognosis was engaged for a time and was operated on urgently. The City of Annecy will organize a “citizen rally in support of the victims and their loved ones” on Sunday at 11 a.m. for a “moment of solidarity and fraternity”, the town hall said.
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