Toulouse shooter's dad sues

June 11, 2012 at 8:09 PM

TOULOUSE, France, June 11 (UPI) -- The father of al-Qaida-inspired French gunman Mohammed Merah is suing over his son's death in a shootout with police, a lawyer said.

Lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre said the lawsuit was filed in a Paris court, Radio France Internationale reported Monday.

Coutant-Peyre said Mohamed Benalel Merah indicated in March, shortly after his son's death, that he wanted to sue the police unit involved in the shootout

"This is a suit against unnamed persons for murder with aggravating circumstances concerning those who gave the orders at the top of the police," Coutant-Peyre said.

Merah killed a rabbi, his two children and another schoolgirl outside of a Jewish school March 19 and three paratroopers of North African descent the week before.

Merah allegedly admitted to the shootings during the two-day standoff with police before he was killed in an exchange of gunfire.

"You have 300-400 heavily armed people and a man all alone trapped in his apartment," Coutant-Peyre said. "That alone is enough to start asking questions."

During on-and-off negotiations, police said he told them he was trained by al-Qaida and killed his victims over the treatment of Palestinians, among other things, The New York Times reported.

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