The father of Toulouse school shooter Mohamed Merah has threatened to sue the French government for killing his son in a shootout rather than capturing him alive, and has vowed not to "shut up" despite a scathing reaction from French officials.
In an interview with the television network France 24, Benalel Merah said police could have used "sleeping gas" to take his son "like a baby," and accused the police of acting hastily.
"Why did they kill him?" asked Benalel Merah. "He could have been sentenced to many years in prison or even a life sentence. There is no death penalty in France."
Merah told French media he would "hire the biggest-named lawyers and work for the rest of my life to pay their costs. I will sue France for having killed my son."
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe responded to Merah's threat by saying, "If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame." At a campaign event Wednesday, French president Nicolas Sarkozy repeated an earlier statement that it was "undignified and indecent" for the shooter's father to speak.
Merah told Algerian media that he would not "shut up" despite the comments of French officials.
Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian ancestry, was killed last week with a shot to the head after a 32-hour siege by French police. Before he died, he confessed to killing three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren in three separate attacks.
On Tuesday, the Paris office of the television news network Al Jazeera said it had received a memory stick in the mail with edited footage of all three attacks, apparently shot by Merah himself, but said it would not air the footage.
Police have arrested Merah's 29-year-old brother Abdelkader and charged him as an accomplice in the attacks. Officials also raised the possibility of a second accomplice, saying they did not believe Merah or his brother could've mailed the attack video -- which was postmarked last Wednesday, the day of the siege -- to Al Jazeera.
Mohamed Merah's body is being shipped to Algeria and will arrive Thursday, according to relatives who spoke to French media.