The knifeman who savagely wounded children including a British girl in eastern France today appeared in public for the first time since the attack – in a medical chair and surrounded by police.
Self-styled Syrian-Christian Abdelmasih Hanoun, 31, was on Saturday morning taken from a secure police station in Annecy to the city’s Palais de Justice.
There he was expected to appear before a judge, who was expected to charge him with a range of offences in connection with Thursday’s attacks.
‘Hanoun left the commissariat soon after 10am, with four officers carrying his chair,’ said an investigating source.
‘The chair is a medical one normally used by firemen to take injured people out of burning buildings.’
Self-styled Syrian-Christian Abdelmasih Hanoun, 31, was on Saturday morning taken from a secure police station in Annecy to the city’s Palais de Justice
He was carried on a medical chair after he was shot by French Police during his arrest
Abdelmasih Hanoun, 31, pictured, is accused of attacking four children and two adults
Hanoun had his head slumped backwards, and appeared to be barely conscious.
He was himself wounded by police following the attack, when video footage caught him saying the words ‘In the name of Jesus Christ’ as he repeatedly plunged a knife into four children and two adults.
They included British girl Ettie Turner, aged three, and three younger children, as well as two adults.
All were ‘stable’ on Saturday, and making a good recovery, with Ettie well enough to watch television.
Also targeted were two French cousins named as Ennio and Alba, both two, and Peter, a 22-month-old Dutch boy.
The two adults who were attacked were Manuel, 70, and Yusuf, 78, who was also hit by a police bullet in error.
Despite being a failed asylum seeker who faced deportation, Hanoun was left to sleep rough in Annecy.
A source who works on a lake pontoon by Lake Annecy said that he saw Hanoun ‘every day for the two months preceding the attack.
The source said: ‘He was dressed in black – black backpack, dark glasses, bearded, and he wore a headdress to protect him from the sun – it could be a t-shirt, this wasn’t a religious sign’.
Tributes have been left at teh scene where the attack took place including a balloon which said Love For the Children
Line Bonnet-Mathis, the Annecy Prosecutor who is leading the investigation into the crimes, confirmed that Hanoun ‘will appear before a judge on Saturday’
Line Bonnet-Mathis, the Annecy Prosecutor who is leading the investigation into the crimes, confirmed that Hanoun ‘will appear before a judge on Saturday’.
Hanoun has been ‘having tantrums’ in custody, and has ‘not provided any motive for the attacks’.
The divorced father of a three-year-old girl was refused asylum in France six days ago and faced being deported.
Despite this, there were no immediate attempts to remove him from the country, or to monitor his movements.
Gérald Darmanin, France’s Interior Minister, said this was a ‘troubling coincidence’, adding: ‘For reasons not well explained he had sought asylum in Switzerland, Italy and France.’
Hanoun arrived in Sweden 10 years ago, having served in the Syrian Army during the country’s ongoing civil war.
He married a Swedish woman he had met in Turkey, and they went on to have a daughter, now aged three, before the couple separated around eight months ago.
Hanoun was twice refused Swedish citizenship, and this is thought to have motivated him to move to France alone.
The multiple stabbings follow a series of similar crimes in France dating back to 2015, most of them linked to Islamist terrorism.