Euro-2016: a Russian hooligan caught by the French justice

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – TOBIAS SCHWARZ – | English fan Andrew Bache after being hit by a Russian hooligan at the Euro on June 11, 2016 in Marseille

Nearly two years after the Euro-2016, justice has caught one of the alleged assailants of an English supporter, beaten and left for dead in the city: a 31-year-old Russian hooligan was remanded in custody. Marseille.

The man is suspected of having stubbornly attacked his victim and was indicted for “violence in a meeting with a weapon, followed by a permanent disability”, announced the public prosecutor of Marseille, Xavier Tarabeux, AFP.

In the middle of Euro-2016, the Old Port and its surroundings had experienced an outburst of violence from some 150 Russian hooligans who had come especially to do battle, had described the prosecutor of the time, speaking of ultra-violent “hunts to English “.

Thirty-five wounded had been deplored, almost all British, two of whom had been very seriously injured: Stewart Gray, 47, and Andrew Bache, 51, whom the man detained on Monday is suspected of having attacked.

He had been severely beaten, beaten in particular with an iron bar, and only owed his salvation to a cardiac resuscitation performed in full chaos under the close supervision of the police. He suffered serious brain injuries, as well as several broken bones.

After the violence, the Marseille police have done an ant work, including analyzing hours of video surveillance and videos of portable cameras filmed by Russian hooligans themselves and sometimes posted on YouTube, to identify the attackers.

Several supporters had been arrested before they left France, and sentenced for three of them to sentences of one to two years in prison. But for minor offenses, like throwing bottles on the police.

– Identified end of 2017 –

Without identifying precisely the perpetrators of the most serious attacks, the authorities had to resolve to expel some twenty other Russian hooligans claimed to belong to “Orel Butchers” Lokomotiv Moscow and “Gladiators Firms” Spartak Moscow , including the sulphurous ultranationalist leader Alexandre Chpryguine.

It is only at the end of 2017 that the attacker detained on Monday was able to be identified with certainty, and was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by France.

It paid off in mid-February: the German police arrested him during a stopover at the Munich airport, while he planned to travel to Bilbao (north-west of Spain) to attend to a match of Europa League Athletic Bilbao-Spartak Moscow.

After his arrest, Russian soccer fans had posted on social networks a photo supposed to represent him, identifying him under the simple name of “Pavel”, and had launched a collection to support him.

As in the continental competition of 2016, the arrest of the Russian national sparked protests from Moscow, this time by the Russian Embassy in Germany.

“We consider this case as a possible excuse to exacerbate and politicize the topic of hooliganism in football before the 2018 World Cup in Russia” this summer, reacted after his arrest his spokesman, Denis Mikerine, on his Facebook account.

The football world fears overflows at the World Cup in Russia from June 14 to July 15. In this country plagued by hooliganism, the authorities want to avoid the violence that had occurred in France.

In addition to the promulgation of a law providing for the prohibition of entry to the country by foreign hooligans and the “blacklisting” of certain leaders of violent groups, a “supporter’s passport” (or Fan-ID) must be in place to check the profile of each spectator wishing to attend a World Cup match.

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