Frenchman held in Bulgaria had ‘links’ to Paris attackers

A Frenchman arrested in Bulgaria on 1 January trying to cross into Turkey was in contact with one of the two brothers who carried out the Islamist attacks in Paris last week, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Fritz-Joly Joachin, aged 29, a French citizen of Haitian origin, “was in contact several times with one of the two brothers -Cherif Kouachi”, public prosecutor Darina Slavova told GNR.

She said the contact took place before Joachin left France on 30 December, a week before Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said killed 12 people in Paris attacks that shocked the world.

Joachin was initially wanted on a European arrest warrant issued by France following allegations by his wife that he had kidnapped their 3-year-old son.

But on Monday, Bulgarian prosecutors received a second European arrest warrant for Joachin issued by a court in Paris.

“The charges are for participation in an organised crime group whose aim was organisation of terrorist acts,” said Slavova.

The Kouachi brothers carried out their massacre at the Paris offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on 7 January. Two days later they were shot dead by French security forces.

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