French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged television stations not to telecast the video footage of Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah, amid reports that al-Jazeera is considering relaying the video clippings.
Mohamed Merah was killed in a police siege at his apartment, where he was holed up after killing seven people, including three Jewish children, a Rabbi and three soldiers in Southwestern France. Merah reportedly filmed himself shooting his victims and the video footage was mailed by an accomplice to al-Jazeera TV, say investigators.
I ask of those in charge of all the TV channels in possession of these images not to broadcast the images under any pretext out of respect for the victims and out of respect for the republic, Sarkozy said while addressing the magistrates and policemen involved in the Merah case at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, according to a BBC report.
Al-Jazeera, though, has confirmed that it received the footage in a USB memory stick by mail last Wednesday. The TV channel said that it is considering relaying the visuals and a decision on it is being taken at a meeting in Qatar.
The video, according to an Associated Press report, shows attacks on the soldiers and the school children, shot from the killer's angle, indicating that he might have had the equipment on his head or neck. The footage was delivered to the Paris bureau of al-Jazeera along with a letter which claimed that the shootings were done in the name of al Qaeda, the report added.
The police by then had taken control of his apartment and therefore investigators suspect the involvement of a second person who might have posted the video.
Police have already arrested Merah's elder brother Abdelkader Merah for helping him steal the scooter used in the attack, BBC reports.
Parents and relatives of the victims have also objected to the telecast of the video.
If ever they're broadcast, [Merah] will have won all the way, said Aaron Bijaoui, uncle of Bryan Bijaoui,17, who was critically injured in the school attack.