Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sarkozy to meet with victim from train ride from hell.

Crime: Now we find out there were racist taunts along with the robbery. But since it was against white people, probably nothing will come of it.

PARIS, Jan 5 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy was Thursday to see one of several passengers who were terrorised by a gang of youths on a New Year's Day train on the French Riviera, the newspaper Le Monde reported. The passenger, a 20-year-old woman identified as Charlotte N., was sexually molested and robbed on the train by the youths, according to a police complaint she lodged and an interview she gave to the daily. After being cornered by some of the group, she was robbed of her wallet and cheque-book, and then one of the men groped her breasts and buttocks while others insulted her, she said. "They were aged between 15 and 20 and didn't look like they were drunk," she said. Le Monde said the woman was one of three passengers on the Nice-to-Lyon regional train who had lodged police complaints. It added that one of three youths arrested after the incident was being held for the sexual assault. The other two victims, a young Paris couple, reported being robbed, with the man also physically assaulted while he protected his girlfriend cowering in a locked staff compartment. "She was very scared," the man, identified as Bruno L., said, who added that three policemen were waiting outside on the platform of a station where the train had stopped without intervening. "The youths were making racist, anti-white insults and taunting them (the police) by asking them when the train was going to go," he said. President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday vowed to bring all the other members of the gang to justice. Police said they believed the youths involved all came from the Marseille area.
Previous posts here and here. There needs to be some firings in the police force, unacceptable law enforcement. Update# Judges let most of the violaters go via LATIMES.
"The high-level, if slow, response by senior officials reflected lingering worries about crime, gangs and potential new strife in immigrant neighborhoods. President Jacques Chirac expressed indignation Wednesday. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy promised to create a national railroad police, expanding an existing force that has cut transport crime in the Paris area. Security aboard national trains is handled by the private security force, which has limited powers. "I have asked for a very precise investigation into what happened and who failed in their responsibility," Sarkozy said on the TF1 television network Wednesday night. "It's not a republic and not a democratic society if you are scared to take the bus, the subway or the train." The opposition Socialist Party accused the government of downplaying unrest that took place around France on New Year's Eve, traditionally an occasion for urban violence. Jack Lang, a Socialist leader, said the attack on the train passengers "shows the contrast between the official propaganda intended to lull the French to sleep and the sad reality of worsening insecurity nationwide." Authorities acknowledged that the incident revealed confusion among railroad security, the national police and the gendarmerie, a paramilitary force based in rural areas. Troubles on the train continued even after authorities made arrests and permitted the train to leave Les Arcs-Draguignan about 9 a.m. Sunday with a police contingent aboard, authorities said. As the train approached Marseilles, youths vandalized cars, pulled the emergency brake several times and fled onto the tracks, according to authorities and media reports. Police arrested three more people on suspicion of possessing drugs and weapons, including a knife and two screwdrivers. Sarkozy and police union officials questioned the decision of judges to release those who had been arrested on the train that arrived in Nice on New Year's Eve, then wreaked havoc on the return trip. "The kids broke everything on the train coming in, so it was clear what they were up to. And the judges let them all go," said Patrice Ribeiro, a police union spokesman."

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