Posthumous wedding for French gay cop killed in terrorist attack

People prepare to lay flowers at the site where a police officer was killed by a terrorist on the Champs Elysees, on April 26, 2017.
People prepare to lay flowers at the site where a police officer was killed by a terrorist on the Champs Elysees, on April 26, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The partner of a gay policeman gunned down by a militant on Paris's Champs-Elysees avenue in April has married him posthumously, the daily Le Parisien reported Wednesday (May 31).

Former president Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attended the wedding on Tuesday of the late Xavier Jugele and Etienne Cardiles.

Mr Jugele, 37, was shot dead on April 20 while on duty on the famous Parisian avenue, three days before the first round of France's presidential election.

He had campaigned for gay rights within the police force.

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At a moving remembrance ceremony led by then president Hollande on April 25, Mr Cardiles said the killer would "not have my hatred", echoing the words of the husband of a victim of the November 2015 attacks in the French capital.

"I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat nor what made you a guardian of the peace," he said.

Mr Jugele was the fifth policeman slain by terrorists in attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives across France since January 2015.

Mr Hollande posthumously made him a knight of the Legion d'Honneur, one of France's highest honours.

Shortly after Mr Jugele's death it emerged that he had been among the first responders at the Bataclan theatre in Paris on November 13, 2015, where ISIS gunmen massacred 90 concertgoers.

He returned to the venue a year later when it reopened for a concert by British star Sting, telling a BBC interviewer he wanted "to celebrate life and say 'no' to terrorism".