AND HERE IS THE NEWS…
….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson
Men who attacked politician face trial
Following the violent scenes during the anti health-pass demonstration last Saturday, 3 men have been arrested and face trial. The three men attacked the offices of the LREM party and punched Romain Grau the deputy, who was forced to seek shelter in his office. The men face charges of violence against a person entrusted with a public mission during a demonstration (which is a repeat offence for them as they have already been convicted by the courts for previous acts of violence). One of them will also be tried for making death threats against an elected official, another for contempt.
Investigation into Shaman sect
Police are calling for witnesses to find possible victims as part of an investigation for rape and sexual assault against the leader of a sect. Cyrille Adam, nicknamed the ‘White Wolf’ has already been prosecuted and jailed by a judge in Nimes in December, but further complaints have been received. The events took place in the Tarn-et-Garonne and the Pyrénées-Oriéntales, where they had a premises in the Vallespir, near Prats-de-Mollo.
Mayor of Le Barcarès arrested
Alain Ferrand was arrested on Tuesday because of multiple breaches of his court order, which only authorises him to come into the P-O department 2 days a week. There is a long history of legal proceedings against the Mayor, two of which are still ongoing; one being the management of the Electrobeach festival and the other that of the Christmas market. Mr Ferrand was sent to Perpignan Prison and will be transferred to Marseille to face the judge.
Hiker missing on Canigou Massif
Mountain rescuers have been searching for a 62 year old hiker who has been missing since last Wednesday evening. The man, an experienced hiker from St Estève, set off to climb the Canigou but his partner alerted the police when he failed to make contact. Searchers include the PGHM (high mountain gendarmerie platoon) Prades gendarmes accompanied by a tracker dog, and helicopters.
Covid cases rising in schools
More than 21,000 students tested positive this week in the Pyrénées-Oriéntales, compared to 15,000 last week. The number of teaching staff affected by the Omicron wave has also increased. As a result, 213 classes are closed and many supply teachers have been drafted in.
173kg of cannabis discovered by customs officers
Customs officers at Le Boulou péage carried out a spot check on a lorry registered in Bulgaria. The driver explained that he was on route to Italy to deliver 37 pallets of kitchen utensils. The officers decided to investigate the roof of the vehicle and discovered bags of cannabis resin taped the full length of the lorry – with a street value of 302,000€. The Romanian driver faced court on Friday and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. Since the beginning of the year customs officials in the region of already seized nearly a ton of cannabis.
Pony shot dead in Sorède
A Shetland pony was found lying dead in his enclosure by his owner, having suffered a gunshot in his side. The pony had been ‘rescued’ 20 years ago by the owner and shared the enclosure with four horses. An investigation has been opened by the gendarmerie of Saint-Genis-des-fontaines to establish whether it was a deliberate act or a stray bullet as the enclosure is near a hunting area. The owner is extremely sceptical about the idea of it being an accident and has already filed a complaint against ‘X’ (name withheld pending investigations).