Deadly attack at a metro station in Villeurbanne: the author criminally irresponsible

published on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 7:37 p.m.

The Lyon Court of Appeal on Tuesday pronounced the criminal irresponsibility and “complete hospitalization” of the author of the bloody knife attack in a Villeurbanne metro station in August 2019, which had killed one person.

If the investigating chamber officially declared that Sultan Mohamad Niazi, a young man of Afghan origin, was indeed the author of the attack which also caused thirteen injuries, it drew the consequences of the total abolition of its discernment , diagnosed by three colleges of experts.

“Complete hospitalization” is the highest measure in the scale of medical constraints that justice can take in the context of hearings on criminal irresponsibility.

The investigating chamber also pronounced a ban on all contact with the victims, a ban on staying in the Lyon region (except in hospitals), and a ban on carrying weapons for a period of twenty years. .

“This decision is a logical continuation of the hearing and the opinions of the experts, it is not surprising”, notes Me Frédéric Lalliard, lawyer for a woman seriously injured in the face. “Despite everything, doubt remains in the minds of the victims. The route of the attacker has not been fully clarified,” said the criminal lawyer from Lyon.

The hearing of February 11, where the public prosecutor’s office had requested a dismissal for criminal irresponsibility and hospitalization under duress “did not provide all the answers on the determination of this individual, on his calm that can be seen on the videos before he takes action,” adds his colleague Olivier Forray, lawyer for the family of the young man who died in the attack.

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Sultan Mohamad Niazi, 36, had blindly struck the victims with a kitchen knife and a barbecue fork at the Laurent Bonnevay station.

After leaving Afghanistan at the age of 16, he wandered around several countries, before arriving in France in 2017. Psychiatric experts diagnosed schizophrenia with “unpredictable and dangerous behavior”.

“The decision applies the fundamental principle of law that we do not judge the insane. The hearing had taken the time to explain and listen with respect for everyone”, reacted Thibaud Claus, defense lawyer .