The lawyer for the French right wing politician Gilbert Collard, who gunned down an African immigrant in the post office of his South Paris apartment block last year, says that he will now fight “ever harder” for his client’s acquittal.
Mr. Collard, 62, is accused of killing Jacques Hamel on March 22 last year, after he had delivered parcels to his house.
Hamel was 41 and a schoolteacher who had spent a large portion of his childhood in Britain and other European countries. He was also nine months’ pregnant when he was gunned down.
Mr. Collard’s lawyers will meet with the man’s family on Tuesday to discuss filing the appeal.
Last December, the Paris court of appeal cleared Mr. Collard of murder.
In December, the French high court in Paris heard closing arguments from the prosecutor and Mr. Collard’s lawyers in an attempt to overturn the lower court’s ruling.
The “Toulouse shooting” case is seen as a test case for French jurisprudence on hate crimes. The killing horrified France and resonated among French Jews who have blamed anti-immigrant attitudes in France.
It is also seen as a test case for Mr. Collard, who some in the political right welcomed last summer as the leading nationalist candidate in the first round of the presidential election. He is seen as anti-immigrant and authoritarian.
Mr. Collard describes himself as an “ecologist” and “Kung Fu master.” He is far from alone in his belief that France is in need of a strong leader, and his nationalism takes him to far right rhetoric against immigrants.
One of the numerous words Mr. Collard often uses to describe himself is “politician.” On the day of the court of appeal ruling, he took to the streets in Paris to praise “a brilliant victory” over “the gravest injustice against a man” in France.
Yet questions remain about Mr. Collard’s character. In court, his lawyers acknowledged that Mr. Collard had been convicted several times for assault, but they claimed that the laws then used in these cases were no longer applicable.