Senior cop on Charlie Hebdo case 'kills himself'
A FRENCH police commissioner allegedly killed himself with his police-issued gun just hours after he was ordered to investigate the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre, the local media in France reported.
Helric Fredou, 45, who was said to be suffering from depression, reportedly shot himself at his office in Limogesa, a city in central France, on the night of Jan 7, according to TV channel France 3.
He had just interviewed the family of a victim of the Charlie Hebdo shooting before his reported suicide.
Mr Fredou began his career as a police officer in 1997 and had been the deputy director of the regional police since 2012, the Daily Mail reported.
It is not known if the suicide is connected to the Charlie Hebdo killings.
Twelve people, including eight journalists and two policemen, were murdered on Jan 7 when two armed men stormed the offices of the French satirical weekly in Paris. Their attackers claimed to belong to terrorist group Al-Qaeda in Yemen. They were seeking revenge over Prophet Muhammad cartoons published by the magazine. Any depiction of the Prophet is considered blasphemous by Muslims.
In a provocative move, Charlie Hebdo has released the front page of its latest edition to the media, ahead of the magazine's publication today. It features the Prophet crying and holding up a "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") sign under the words, "All is forgiven". Three million copies of the special "survivors' edition" are being printed and will be available in 25 countries, said the magazine.
Meanwhile, the White House acknowledged on Monday that it should have sent a senior official to the massive rally against terrorism in Paris, as United States President Barack Obama came under fire for failing to travel to France.
French President Francois Hollande was joined at the Sunday march by 50 world leaders. Washington was represented by the US Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Mr Obama would have liked to have gone himself, but suggested that security requirements and the short planning time had prevented it.
THE STRAITS TIMES, AFP