Report: French police charge three in Toulouse shootings

(JTA) — French police have charged three people in connection with the slaying of four Jews at a school in Toulouse last year.

The most recent suspect charged was identified by the French TF1 television station as Fetah Malki, 30. According to the report, French police are charging him with supplying Mohammed Merah with weapons that Merah used to murder three children and a rabbi at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse on March 19, 2012.

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Malki was arrested in Toulouse on last week on May 28, according to the French news agency AFP. An unnamed source involved in the investigation told the news agency that Malki, who has a criminal record for theft, confessed to supplying the weapons for the terrorist activity. “He provided at least two weapons including an Uzi submachine gun,” the source told AFP.

French police have described Merah as a radical Muslim extremist. The school slayings came a few days after Merah gunned down three French soldiers in two drive-by shootings from a scooter near Toulouse. He was shot dead on March 22, 2012 during a standoff with police.

AFP reported that in addition to Malki, French police are holding and charging Mohamed Mounir Meskine, 25, whom they accuse of stealing the scooter along with Mohammed Merah and his brother, 31-year-old Abdelkader Merah. Meskine is charged with grand theft auto and belonging to a terrorist enterprise, AFP reported. He was arrested May 18 and denies the charges.

Following the charges, a French judge put Malki under a formal investigation — an important step towards a trial which signifies that there exists “serious or consistent evidence” against a suspect.

The third man charged is Abdelkader Merah, who was arrested after the shootings and is denying charges that he conspired with his younger brother to commit acts of terrorism.

Since the shootings, French police have briefly arrested or detained dozens of individuals they suspected but did not charge of involvement in the shootings that shocked the French nation and the world in March 2012.