Friday, January 16, 2015

Frenchman detained in Bulgaria denies Islamist militant links: lawyer

(Reuters) - A French citizen arrested in Bulgaria for alleged links to the gunmen who attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, denies being part of an Islamist group and is ready to be extradited to prove his innocence, his lawyer said on Friday.
French citizen Fritz-Joly Joachin is surrounded by media and policemen during a court break in the southern city of Haskovo January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Fritz-Joly Joachin was detained by Bulgarian police at a border checkpoint as he tried to cross into Turkey in the early hours of Jan. 1 under a European arrest warrant that alleged he had abducted his three-year-old son - an accusation he denies.
A second European arrest warrant alleged he had participated in a criminal group that plotted acts of terrorism, for which he could face 10 years in prison.
Joachin was brought into a provincial court in the city of Haskovo near the Turkish border on Friday. A construction worker without any previous criminal convictions, Joachin told the court he expected a fair hearing and at one point objected to having a female translator.
"He has told me that he has no links to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group," Radi Radev, Joachin's lawyer, told reporters. 

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