Nice attack: Prosecutor calls for ban on Paris Match photos

A woman looks at portraits of missing victims of the Bastille Day terror attack on the Promenade des Anglais on July 16, 2016 in Nice, France.Image copyright
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Image caption

Photos of the missing, posted on a Paris Match advert in the wake of last year’s attack

The Paris prosecutor has called for Paris Match magazine to be pulled from newsstands after it published CCTV images of the 14 July attack in Nice.

A lorry killed 86 people when it drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

The publication of the images has angered a victims’ group, which accused the magazine of morbid sensationalism.

The magazine was still on sale on Thursday afternoon as both sides appeared in court to make their arguments before a judge.

The prosecutor asked the court to “order the (magazine’s) withdrawal from sale” as well as a “ban on publication in all formats, particularly online”.

A decision is expected later in the evening.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, earlier criticised Paris Match for publishing the images on the eve of the first anniversary of the attack.

Some retailers in Nice boycotted this week’s issue of the magazine, local press reported.

But the French journalist’s union SNJ criticised the prosecutor’s request, warning that it was a danger to press freedom.

In an editorial published on the Paris Match website shortly before midnight on Wednesday, managing editor Olivier Royant said the magazine “aims to fight tooth and nail for the right of citizens, and first and foremost of victims, to know exactly what happened during the attack”.

Adding that the editorial team wanted to pay tribute to the victims, Mr Royant explained that the magazine’s journalists had found that the attacker had carried out reconnaissance trips to Nice’s Promenade des Anglais for more than a year.

He argued that screen-shots of the lorry had featured recently on TV and that they were distant images of the scene in which victims could not be identified.

Tunisian-born Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, ploughed the rented truck into a crowd of people as they watched a fireworks display late on 14 July 2016.

Children were among the dozens killed before police fatally shot the driver. More than 300 people were treated in hospital.

CCTV images of the attack were a controversial subject immediately after the murders.

A week on, French anti-terror police asked local officials to delete video images of the incident to avoid their publication – but officials refused, saying it would be destroying evidence.

The attack, claimed by so-called Islamic State, was part of a wave of jihadist-inspired murders in France.

Nice attack: Prosecutor calls for ban on Paris Match photos

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