From our special correspondent in Arras (Pas-de-Calais)
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On Bach's Sicilienne, played on the piano and violin by family friends, Dominique Bernard's coffin enters the Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Vaast cathedral in Arras. Six days after the Islamist attack that left one dead and three injured, family, friends, colleagues, students, local and national personalities attended the last tribute paid to this 57-year-old literature teacher, murdered three years after Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher in the Yvelines.
In front of Dominique Bernard's remains are Mgr Olivier Leborgne, bishop of Pas-de-Calais, and Father Pierre-Marie Leroy, rector of the cathedral. Behind them, the deceased's wife, three daughters, mother, sister, brother-in-law, nephews and nieces. Then the head of state Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte, herself a former literature teacher, and students from the Carnot-Gambetta school complex, a flower in their hands. All classes were cancelled on Thursday morning so that students and staff of the school could attend the funeral.
LIVE - Arras attack: "Dominique Bernard's death seems to us what it is, an injustice," says Bishop Olivier Leborgne
The audience included many local and national personalities, including the Minister of National Education Gabriel Attal, the Mayor of Arras Frédéric Leturque, the Rector of the Lille Academy Valérie Cabuil... Hundreds of people of all ages gathered on the emblematic Place des Héros to follow the funeral on a giant screen set up on the city's belfry, under a large portrait of Dominique Bernard.
"You have been elevated to the rank of martyrs"
At the beginning of the ceremony, Dominique Bernard's relatives took turns to evoke his memory in a few words. "He didn't like computers and social media. He didn't even have a phone. He did not like crowds, nor horrors, nor ceremonies, which he abhorred. Sensitive and discreet, he did not like the sound and fury of the world. He loved his daughters, his mother, his sister. We loved each other," said the deceased's wife, Isabelle Bernard.
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I'll never forget your silhouette on the steps of the Lycée Gambetta. What a tragic irony that it was on this same steps that life was taken from you," continues Aurélie, a teacher at the Carnot-Gambetta school complex, who describes a man who was passionate about his job and appreciated by his students and colleagues. "How ironic that such a dark, obscure gesture should have struck the man Victor Hugo might have called 'a torchbearer'. Here you are, elevated to the rank of martyrs, you discreet man," she concluded.
At the foot of the Cross, we come to lay down the violence and madness of the world of which Dominic was a victim. Dominic's death seems to us to be what it is: an injustice," said Archbishop Leborgne, who just a year ago celebrated the funeral of young Lola in the collegiate church of Saint-Omer in Lillers.
Following the reading of the Beatitudes, the Gospel chosen by the family of the deceased, the bishop returned in his homily to the "savage murder on school grounds" of the fifty-year-old. "We are all stunned. When will the violence and madness of the world end, and are we irretrievably doomed? The prelate asked, referring to a "tornado that never ceases to swell and whose itinerary is absolutely unpredictable."
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At the end of the religious ceremony, Dominique Bernard, posthumously named Knight of the Legion of Honour, will be buried in privacy in his village of Berneville. The other victims of Friday's attack - a PE teacher, a cleaner and the head of the school's technical team - are out of danger, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said on Tuesday. Some of them attended the funeral of the deceased.
In pre-trial detention
For his part, Mohammed Mogushkov, the main suspect, is now in pre-trial detention, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) said. The 20-year-old Russian-born man, registered as S, was charged with "murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise", "attempted assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise" and "participation in a terrorist criminal association with a view to preparing a crime against persons".
Read alsoThe Arras attacker, his little brother and cousin indicted
His 16-year-old brother, who was also remanded in custody, was charged with "complicity in murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise", "complicity in attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise", and "participation in a terrorist criminal association with a view to preparing a crime against persons". And his 15-year-old cousin was indicted on charges of "wilful abstention from preventing a crime or offence against the integrity of a person".