19 Aug 2019

Policeman cleared over shooting of escapee in New Caledonia

6:33 am on 19 August 2019

The public prosecutor in New Caledonia has reportedly decided to close the case of a police officer accused of killing a fugitive.

William Decoire was shot dead at a roadblock in St Louis in 2016, triggering the territory's worst violence in a decade and prompting the French interior ministry to boost police numbers.

After being thrown out in 2016, the case reopened and last year the police officer was indicted over the fatal shooting at a roadblock.

The shooting episode was reconstructed under the supervision of a judge but with the exclusion of the media.

Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes reports the prosecutor has now concluded there was no criminal culpability on part of the officer.

The paper reports William Decoire's mother as finding the outcome incomprehensible, saying the case should have gone to court.

In late 2016, the victim's mother lodged a voluntary homicide complaint yet a month later, the prosecutor closed the case after concluding that the policeman had fired in legitimate self-defence.