Far-right militants go on trial accused of planning to assassinate French President Emmanuel Macron with a knife, attack mosques and kill immigrants
- A group of thirteen people are tried for planning the assassination of Emmanuel Macron
- Details of the terrorist plot were read out today at the Paris Correctional Court.
- A defendant is said to have called Macron a ‘hysterical little dictator’ online
An alleged gang of far-right French nationalists stood trial today for attempting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron.
Details of the terror plot were outlined at the Paris Correctional Court on Tuesday, after 13 defendants appeared in the dock.
Among them is Jean-Pierre Bouyer, a 66-year-old father of five, who allegedly wanted to help kill Macron when France marked Armistice Day in November 2018.
As France was focused on the 100 years since the end of World War I, Bouyer wanted an accomplice to try to talk to the president and then stab him with a ceramic knife.
According to further prosecution evidence, Bouyer had written on Facebook that Macron was “a hysterical little dictator” and called on his fellow conspirators to “eliminate those who want to harm you.”
An alleged gang of far-right French nationalists went on trial today for attempting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron
Jean-Pierre Bouyer, a 66-year-old father of five who allegedly wanted to help kill Macron when France marked Armistice Day in November 2018
Bouyer had written on Facebook that Macron was “a hysterical little dictator” and called on his fellow conspirators to “eliminate those who want to harm you.”
Bouyer was part of a gang called the Barjols, which translates to ‘Los locos’, which came under surveillance by the French security services in 2018.
Its known members, 11 men, including Bouyer, and two women, now face a charge of ‘terrorist conspiracy’.
All have been described as “raging paramilitaries” with links to “far-right groups” in France’s eastern Moselle region.
Bouyer was arrested with three accomplices on November 6, 2018, when a police spokesman said he was “armed with a knife to assassinate Emmanuel Macron on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.”
A dagger was found in Bouyer’s car, along with a bible, while firearms and ammunition were found in his home.
Citing evidence of intercepted phone calls and online, prosecutors said the 13 also planned to kill immigrants and attack mosques.
The investigation began in 2018, when France’s national intelligence service received a tip about the Barjols.
During police questioning, Bouyer admitted that he wanted to kill Macron, but said that one of his co-defendants would be the killer.
Police later arrested other members of the Barjols, including Denis Collinet (pictured), who is proposing the “great replacement” theory of white supremacy.
All of the ongoing trials have been described as “angry paramilitaries” with links to “far-right groups” in the eastern Moselle region of France.
The idea was for the man to approach Macron, as if to talk to him, and then use a ceramic-bladed knife to kill him.
Bouyer later withdrew this confession saying it was “just talk,” according to the prosecution.
Police later arrested other members of the Barjols, including Denis Collinet, who proposes the white supremacist “great replacement” theory which falsely claims that France’s native white Catholic population is being replaced by non-white immigrants.
Supposedly, the Barjols members also wanted to kidnap members of parliament and overthrow the government.
The trial judges said in a pre-trial statement that it was “an established fact” that the group’s plans “had the sole objective of seriously disturbing public order through intimidation and terror”.
But defense attorney Lucile Collot said the case against her clients was based “on the fiction that a violent act was going to happen.”
Because none of the alleged plots came to fruition, prosecutors dropped some of the initial charges over the course of their four-year investigation.
The trial will last until February 3.