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Suspected terrorist Julien Coupat released on bail

Article published on the 2009-05-29 Latest update 2009-05-29 16:19 TU

Julien Coupat's girlfriend Yldune Lévy, released last January( Photo: AFP )

Julien Coupat's girlfriend Yldune Lévy, released last January
( Photo: AFP )

A Paris court decided Thursday to release suspected terrorist Julien Coupat on bail. The 34-year-old farmer was detained in November 2008 on suspicion of sabotaging overhead railway cables.

Julien Coupat is suspected, along with girlfriend Yldune Levy, of sabotaging a TGV overhead cable in Duisy in the east of France, on 8 November 2008.

The investigation revealed that German activists claimed responsibility for three similar sabotages that took place that night.

The court ordered that Coupat stay in the greater Paris region and check in once a week at a police station. The court also issued a restraint order to restrict contact between alleged members of the “anarcho-autonomous” group Coupat is believed to have created.

“Better late than never”, said Irène Terrel, Coupat’s lawyer.

Julien Coupat’s arrest and the charges of terrorist activities filed against him have sparked off a general outcry among opposition party members and human rights associations in France.

Socialist Party Human Rights Secretary, Pouria Amirashi, reacted to the release on bail by criticising the government’s “determination” to convict Coupat.

Socialist MP Arnaud Montebourg went on to demand the resignation of Interior minister Michèle Alliot-Marie while Prime Minister François Fillon said that “procedure has been respected”.