A source close to the investigation stated, “Even if there was no hearing, the investigations are continuing to reveal his personality, his career and what he has been doing since his arrival in France.”
Despite his silence, investigators are still trying to uncover the motives of the Syrian refugee who stabbed six people, including four children, in a park in Annecy, in the French Alps.
Annecy Public Prosecutor Lynn Bonnet Mathis held a press conference in which she addressed the legal consequences of Abd al-Masih Hanoune, who was deemed “possible to be detained by the police” after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. The Public Prosecutor decided to extend his detention.
Since his arrest, the 31-year-old attacker has not given any explanation for his attack and “sought to obstruct his detention and fell to the ground.” Sources close to the investigation told AFP that “a complete silence is required.”
“Insanity is a very easy excuse,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Friday. “It is important to know that he is being questioned and is of sound mind.” He told BFMTV that he “possibly had a motive that investigators will try to understand.”
A source close to the investigation said, “Even if there was no hearing, the investigations are continuing to reveal his personality, his career and what he has been doing since his arrival in France.”
Immediately after the news of the attack spread on Thursday, opposition officials from the right and the extreme right condemned “mass immigration,” and some spoke of “radical Islam” and “terrorism,” before it became clear that the attacker was Christian and acted “without a clear terrorist motive,” according to the Public Prosecution Office.
The day after the attack, the French President and his wife, Brigitte, visited the victims on Friday, and Macron confirmed that there was “positive news” about their condition.
Among the four injured children, aged between 22 and 36 months, was a Dutch girl who was taken to hospital in Geneva “and her life is no longer in danger,” according to the Dutch foreign minister.
Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron met in the morning the medical staff and the families of the other three children at a hospital in Grenoble.
They then went to the Annecy hospital and the police department to pay tribute to all those who offered “help and support” during the incident that rocked the city on Thursday.
“The abuse of children is the most brutal act,” declared the French president. “There are things that are totally unacceptable. The violence behind these actions is incomprehensible. We should not get used to it,” he added.
The attack, which took place in a public place and in broad daylight, deeply shocked the normally quiet city of Annecy. On Friday hundreds of people walked in front of the small public park where the attack took place to pray and lay bouquets of flowers.
Emma Clausel, 22, from Annecy, said she felt “great sadness, hatred and anger”. “We are not prepared” for such events, said Leo Ganasali, a 21-year-old salesman.
The day of homage ended with a Mass for the victims at the Basilica of Saint-Pierre-au-Lyan in Annecy.
Monsignor Yves Le Seus said in his homily “When I learned that this man (the abuser) said while committing his crime + in the name of Jesus + of course I felt great sorrow and still am. To commit similar acts of violence in the name of Jesus is an offense.”
“Whether one is a Christian, a Muslim or a believer, killing or wanting to kill in the name of God is an absolute insult” to religion, he added.
Among those attending the Mass was Henry, a young Catholic who became famous within hours for trying to intervene during the attack using his backpack.
“I don’t like naming a hero at all,” he said before the mass. “I think I acted as every Frenchman could and should have acted. (…) There will be no before or after the incident. I will remain as I am.”
During his meeting with the French President on Friday afternoon, along with other witnesses such as police officers, paramedics and medical staff, the young man known for his passion for cathedrals said that he “asked a small request” from Macron, which was “to be able to attend the opening ceremony of Notre-Dame de Paris” after the completion of its restoration. The president replied that he would fulfill his request.