France prison van attack: Manhunt for escaped prisoner enters second day

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Amra was convicted of burglary on 10 May and had been indicted by prosecutors in Marseille for a kidnapping that led to a death.

His lawyer, Hugues Vigier, told French news channel BFMTV “he would like to believe that he [Amra] didn’t know about the plan to free him”.

“For me this plan doesn’t match with what I know of him. If he’s behind it then I failed to understand who he is,” Mr Vigier added.

According to some French media reports, external, Amra had tried to escape his prison cell earlier this week by trying to saw the cell’s bars.

Ms Beccuau, the capital’s state prosecutor, told a news conference Amra had 13 convictions, with the first one dating back to October 2009 – when he was 15 years old.

Although the now 30-year-old was not a “closely watched inmate”, the Paris prosecutor said his transportation required a “level three escort”.

Amra is said to have ties to a gang in the southern city of Marseille, which has been plagued by drug-related gang violence.

But his criminal record to date does not contain any convictions for drug offences, the Paris prosecutor said on Tuesday.



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