Six people, who hid in a refrigerator during the January attack at a supermarket in Paris, sued French media for showing their location in a live coverage of the incident that the victims alleged risked their lives. The group was at the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket, when gunman Amedy Coulibaly took hostages at the store and killed four people.
Patrick Klugman, lawyer for the six people, said that the media coverage "lacked the most basic precautions" and jeopardized the safety of his clients, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). He singled out BFMTV, a French news network, which had revealed on live coverage that a three-year-old child and a one-month-old baby were among those hiding in the cold room at the store.
"The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime," Klugman told AFP on Thursday, adding that their lives "could have been at risk if Coulibaly had been aware in real time what BFMTV was broadcasting."
He said that the jihadist was following the live coverage shown by different news networks at the time and was even in contact with the BFMTV journalists. The lawsuit charges the media outlets for ignoring security protocols and endangering the lives of others. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of 15,000 euros ($16,300), AFP reported.
The six people had fled downstairs to the cold room with a temperature of 27F after they heard gunshots, the Daily Mail reported. Footages and pictures emerged in the media days later, showing the hostages cuddled up for warmth between cardboard boxes of food in the cold room.
France had witnessed three days of terror in January, which began with the attack on the office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A total of 17 people were killed in the attacks.