A 13-year-old student has confessed to spreading a false story about French history teacher Samuel Paty — which set off a horrific chain of events that led to him being beheaded last year, reports said Tuesday.
The girl, whose name has not been released, admitted that she had “lied” about a classroom incident at the school west of Paris in order to please her father, the Independent reported.
She originally claimed that Paty, 47, had asked Muslim students to leave the class before he showed them cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on free speech, the outlet reported.
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The girl reportedly told her father that she was then suspended for two days after she challenged the teacher for sending Muslim students into the hall while he showed the blasphemous image.
Her fib caused her father to file a legal complaint against the teacher, which then started a social media campaign, the BBC reported.
Backlash grew against Paty since depictions of Muhammad are forbidden in Islam — and regarded by Muslims as highly offensive.
Ten days later, the teacher was beheaded by an 18-year-old man, Abdullakh Anzorov, who was later shot dead by police.
But it has now emerged that the girl was not even in class on the day of the supposed incident at the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
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The girl apparently had been suspended the day before for failing to attend class and didn’t want her father to know about the punishment, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
Her attorney on Monday confirmed that the girl was not in class — but claimed it was because she was out sick on the day.
“She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson,” her lawyer, Mbeko Tabula, told Agence France-Presse.
Her lawyer, however, argued that the father should be the one blamed for the fallout due to his “excessive and disproportionate behavior,” the Independent reported.
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The girl has been charged with slander, while her father was arrested on suspicion of being complicit in a terrorist killing, the outlet reported.