Two men aged 18 and 25, suspected of having molested the mayor of the commune of Magnières (Meurthe-et-Moselle) on the night of Saturday to Sunday, are prosecuted in particular for aggravated violence and death threats, announced Monday the prosecutor of Nancy.
A judicial investigation has been opened with an investigating judge, charges of aggravated violence, death threats and insult against a person holding public authority," Capin-Dulhoste said in a statement.
Edouard Babel, mayor of Magnières, a small town of about 300 inhabitants 50 km southeast of Nancy, was violently attacked in the night from Saturday to Sunday when he had gone to the village hall to ask for calm to people gathered to celebrate a birthday.
Around 02:30 a.m., an argument broke out causing nighttime noise. The mayor of the town, accompanied by two couples of friends, went there to calm the situation, "says François Capin-Dulhoste. "At the scene, an individual slapped the mayor, who left the village hall and was chased by a group of seven to eight individuals who made him fall to the ground and then hit him.»
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The assault earned the mayor a "total incapacity for work for one day," according to the prosecutor. One of his friends who tried to intervene was also beaten, resulting in a two-day ITT. The prosecutor's office will request judicial control measures against the two men, including "prohibitions of contact between co-perpetrators, with the victims", and "prohibition to appear in Magnières", added François Capin-Dulhoste.
Edouard Babel, who does not intend to leave office, has received expressions of support following the attack. "To attack a mayor is to attack the foundations of what unites us, the Republic. This violence requires a criminal response, "said the prefect of Meurthe-et-Moselle Arnaud Cochet.
The attack on the mayor of Magnières comes a few weeks after the resignation of the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique). He had decided to leave office after being threatened and abused.