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French gunman's brother to go before judge: lawyer

The older brother of the Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah will be taken before a judge and will likely face charges, his girlfriend's lawyer Guy Debuisson told AFP today.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2012 14:01 IST

The older brother of the Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah will be taken before a judge and will likely face charges, his girlfriend's lawyer Guy Debuisson told AFP on Sunday.

Abdelkader Mehar and his companion were taken in for questioning on Wednesday after his brother, who murdered seven people including three children, was killed by elite police commandos in the southwestern French city.

The girlfriend was released from custody earlier Sunday.

"It is a relief for her but she is also devastated because he (Mehar) is going before a judge. She is finding out about his double life," Debuisson said.

"I have already said there was nothing against my client, she knew nothing about the real, secret life of her husband," he added.

The couple are believed to have married in a religious ceremony, not recognised under French law.

The lawyer said he thought that "on the evidence that has come out of the enquiry, there is a very strong chance that the husband will go to prison."

The couple were detained at their home in Auterive, 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside Toulouse.

Merah, 29, told police he was "proud" of the actions of his younger brother, but denied having helped him kill his seven victims. He did admit to accompanying his brother to a Yamaha dealership, where Mohamed Merah asked in vain how to deactivate the GPS on a scooter he had just stolen.

Abdelkader Merah admitted to police he had been present when his brother stole the powerful scooter on which he fled after carrying out his attacks.

Police have indicated that Merah could be charged with complicity in the theft.