Armed man in Disneyland to be charged with possessing weapons

January 30, 2016  

A man who was found to be carrying two handguns and a Koran as he tried to enter a hotel at Disneyland Paris will go on trial on charges of possessing and transporting weapons and ammunition, prosecutors said on Saturday, according to AFP.

The 28-year-old man was detained on Thursday after the weapons, ammunition and Koran were discovered in his bag during a routine security check at the amusement park’s New York Hotel.

He risks up to five years in prison and a fine of $82,000, the prosecutor’s office in the city of Meaux, east of the French capital, said in a statement quoted by AFP.

The incident comes as France remains on high alert after the coordinated attacks in Paris in November in which 130 people were killed, though prosecutors have already determined the man is not suspected of any terrorism offences.

During questioning the man said he had been carrying the guns because he did not want to leave them at his mother’s home where he was living, a police source told AFP earlier.

Another police source, however, said the man initially told officers he had been armed because he feared for his own safety.

The man’s girlfriend was also taken in for questioning on Thursday but prosecutors said they were convinced that she was not incriminated in any wrongdoing.

A total of 130 people were killed and more than 350 were injured in the Paris attacks in November that were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

Investigators are still seeking Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Frenchman living in Belgium who is thought to have hired the cars used by the attackers and arranged hotel apartments for the nights before the rampage.

The first images of Abdeslam were released earlier this month, showing him along with a friend at a petrol station on the Belgium border shortly after fleeing France.

It has been speculated that Abdeslam fled from Belgium to Germany, and that from there he might have even managed to flee to Syria.

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