French high school student in court after teacher’s beheading

Flowers on display in memorial of French teacher Samuel Paty last October.
Flowers on display in memorial of French teacher Samuel Paty last October. Photo credit: Reuters

A French high school student has admitted to making false statements about her former history teacher, which led to his beheading.  

Samuel Paty, 47, died last October, after an islamist terrorist killed him with a cleaver on his way home from work. 

Ten days before, the teacher supposedly asked Muslim students to leave his classroom during a free speech lesson, where naked depictions of a prophet were shown. 

However, the 13-year-old girl who cannot be named has told the court those claims were fake.

After sharing the story with her father, he began an online hate campaign against the history teacher, which caught the attention of 18-year-old radical Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov. 

The Russian born teenager travelled to the city of Yvelines to carry out the beheading. He was later killed by police.

The girl, known as Z, began lying to her father to try and impress him, and hide the fact she was facing suspension for not showing up to class, according to The Guardian. 

"She would not have dared to confess to her father the real reasons for her exclusion shortly before the tragedy, which was in fact linked to her bad behaviour," French newspaper Le Parisien reports.

The schoolgirl is facing a slander charge, alongside her father who is appearing for his complicity in the killing. 

In total, 21 people have been formally investigated by Police for their involvement in the death.

The girl's lawyer Mbeko Tabula says his client should not be blamed for the killing. 

"It was the father's excessive behaviour, making and posting a video incriminating the professor that led to this spiral," Tabula told Le Parisien.

"My client lied, but even if it had been true, the reaction of her father was still disproportionate."