16 Jan 2018

New Caledonia St Louis trial deferred

4:58 pm on 16 January 2018

New Caledonia's criminal court has deferred the trial of five men accused of wounding six police officers near St Louis in 2016.

French police officers in New Caledonia.

French police officers in New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

The case was adjourned because a Paris-based defence lawyer was absent.

The trial is now due to be held on 19 February.

The five allegedly injured the officers during disturbances along the main road south of Noumea.

The violence was triggered by the fatal shooting of a prison escapee William Decoire who had tried to run a road block in a stolen vehicle.

During the unrest that ensued, the road was blocked for three days and an estimated 50 stolen cars were set alight, prompting Paris to discuss the violence and send more police.

After a series of interviews and a reconstruction of Decoire's interception, the prosecutor concluded that the officer had shot him in self-defence and closed the case.

However, his mother lodged a murder complaint.

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