France charges four men with helping Paris gunman: prosecutor

Flowers, candles and a placard reading "Brave Police officers, gendarmes, thank you" are found placed outside a Jewish supermarket on Jan 16, 2015, as a tribute to the victims of an attack by gunman Amedy Coulibaly. France has formally char
Flowers, candles and a placard reading "Brave Police officers, gendarmes, thank you" are found placed outside a Jewish supermarket on Jan 16, 2015, as a tribute to the victims of an attack by gunman Amedy Coulibaly. France has formally charged four suspects with assisting Coulibaly, a prosecutor said on Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - France has formally charged four suspects with assisting one of the Islamist gunmen who carried out the Paris attacks  two weeks ago that claimed 17 victims, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Four men aged between 22 and 28 were charged and remanded in custody on Tuesday night, three of whom are suspected of having bought "equipment" for Amedy Coulibaly, who gunned down a policewoman and killed four people in a hostage drama at a Jewish supermarket.

The investigation would continue in order to look for possible accomplices, particularly abroad, and international cooperation will continue with authorities particularly in Turkey, Spain and Belgium, Francois Molins told a news conference.  

French prosecutors had asked magistrates on Tuesday to open a formal investigation into the four men, who are suspected of helping prepare the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris that came at the end of three days of violence in the capital.  

They have been in police custody since Friday.

(more to come)