Coffee-price driver charged with second-degree murder

Image copyright BIANCA INFANTELLI/AFP/Getty Images Image caption Prosecutors said the off-duty officer killed a man for not paying for a cup of coffee

An off-duty French police officer has been charged with second-degree murder after being accused of killing a homeless man by putting his body in the back of his car.

The 41-year-old was also charged with human trafficking and laundering money after admitting that he placed the body of 47-year-old Zachary Travess onto a bicycle rack he also loaded in the car.

The man’s body was left behind the driver’s seat, prosecutors said.

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Yusuf Sarhan, the court official, said: “The most valuable thing about an organ is the person and the soul, and not the organs.”

The officer’s lawyer said he was cooperating with the investigation, adding that there was “no hostility”, and that the circumstances of the death were not yet clear.

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Mr Sarhan said the man – whom he declined to name – had attacked the officer with a piece of wood and was expected to plead guilty to two other charges of aggravated violence.

French police have been reinforced in Paris since a series of terrorist attacks in 2015.

In February 2017, the chief of the Gendarmerie arrested a man whom he believed was a potential Islamic State threat.

The man took his own life after being transferred to jail.

Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor said three men have been charged with making and circulating fake papers allegedly made up of Syrian passports and images of weapons, grenades and other ammunition.

They are being held as part of an investigation linked to an incident in May when five men attempted to gain entry into the French capital using forged documents from the war-torn country.

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