Champs Elysees attack: Posthumous marriage for slain policeman

Etienne Cardiles pays tribute to his slain partner Xavier Jugelé (pictured, right) at a ceremony in Paris. Photo: 25 April 2017Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Etienne Cardiles (centre) paid tribute to Xavier Jugelé (pictured, right) at a remembrance ceremony on 25 April

The French policeman who was killed by a jihadist on Paris’ Champs Elysees in April has been married in a posthumous ceremony with his gay partner.

The wedding of late Xavier Jugelé and Etienne Cardiles was conducted in the presence of former President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

France is one of the few countries where posthumous marriages are permitted by law.

Mr Jugelé was shot dead on 20 April while on duty on the famous avenue.

Two other officers were wounded in the attack – just days before the first round of the French presidential elections.

The attacker, who was later named as convicted criminal Karim Cheurfi, was shot dead by security forces.

A note defending so-called Islamic State was found near his body.

Who was the slain policeman?

Xavier Jugelé, 37, was an active campaigner for gay rights. He was in a civil partnership and did not have children.

His murder caused huge emotion across France, especially after the moving address by his partner at the subsequent ceremony of remembrance.

“I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat nor what made you a guardian of the peace,” Mr Cardiles said.

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Media captionNick Garnett’s interview with officer Xavier Jugelé in 2016

Originally from the Loire Valley region in central France, Mr Jugelé had been serving in the capital since 2014.

He was deployed on the night of the November 2015 attacks in Paris to the Bataclan concert hall, returning the following year on the night the venue reopened.

Interviewed by the BBC’s Nick Garnett at the same venue a year later, Mr Jugelé said: “I want to celebrate life and say ‘no’ to terrorism.”

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Wednesday’s ceremony is believed to be the first posthumous gay wedding to take place in France, and presumably therefore in the world, the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris reports.

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