Coffin marks in Paris: political motive of three Moldovan nationals accused but left at large not kept secret

The French judiciary brought charges against three young Moldovans, suspected of being the ones who placed markers representing coffins in Paris with the words “French soldier in Ukraine” written on them, and released them, the Public Prosecution said in contact with Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

These Moldovans, born in 2001, 2004 and 2006, were arrested in the French capital near the Ministry of Transformation and Civil Service on the night of Friday to Saturday with aerosols and stencils, and were then taken into police custody.

The previous day, eight coffin cards and three other words written in the Cyrillic alphabet were discovered on the facades of buildings in the capital.

The Paris Public Prosecutor's Office opened a judicial investigation on Monday into damage caused during the meeting, particularly to public property, and criminal conspiracy.

According to the prosecutor, the investigating judge finally charged them on Monday with minor assault in a meeting, an offense punishable by a fine of 15,000 euros and community service, putting them in a better position as an auxiliary witness for the criminal association.

The investigating judge considered that “the facts with which the defendants were accused constitute signs […] It caused minor damage, and the political motive cannot be taken into account when assessing the damage.”

The same source added that this description “prevents the persons concerned from being placed under judicial surveillance or pretrial detention,” who were “therefore left at large.”

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On Saturday evening, a police source indicated that the investigation aims to “clarify their motives in light of a new suspicion of foreign interference.” The prosecution also explained that “the possibility of foreign interference has not been ruled out at this stage.”

Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popsoe “strongly condemned this incident” on Ex, calling it a “hybrid strategy to damage our international image.”

These signs mirror several other recent cases, which have received strong media coverage.

At the beginning of June, three more men of foreign nationality were suspected of placing coffins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, but have not been charged at this stage – they have been placed under the better status of “assisted witnesses”.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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