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CRIME

Dead French tourist was depressed: family

UPDATED: The family of a French 19-year-old girl found dead in a Barcelona hotel room on Sunday with knife wounds had reported the young woman missing, telling police she was depressed and displaying suicidal tendencies, Spanish media are reporting.

Dead French tourist was depressed: family
The dead woman was found in the Olivia Plaza hotel in Barcelona's central Plaça Catalunya. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

The family told police the young woman had most likely been travelling with her French boyfriend, identified only as A. J. P. R. G. by Catalan daily La Vanguardia. 

The family of the boyfriend also reported him as missing, while noting the girl's fragile psychological state, the daily added.  

The boyfriend is currently being sought by French police after staff at the Olivia Plaza hotel in Barcelona's central Plaça Catalunya discovered the body of the young woman after entering the room at 12.30pm on Sunday.

The body reportedly showed signs of knife wounds and police said that they hope the missing man will be able to explain what had happened.

The knife used to inflict the injuries was found in the room and police are now studying hotel surveillance video as investigations continue.

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CRIME

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The Moroccan suspect held in connection with a machete attack on two Spanish churches, killing a verger and badly injuring a priest, will undergo psychiatric testing, a court said Tuesday.

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The case is being handled by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, with the judge in charge asking that “two doctors conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect”.

The suspect, 25-year-old Yassine Kanjaa, was arrested at the scene after the attacks on two churches in the southern town of Algeciras last week.

The Audiencia Nacional said the psychiatric evaluation, which will be carried out by doctors from the court’s forensic department, would provide “information about the legal responsibility” of the “presumed jihadist”.

Prosecutors have opened a terror probe and, on Monday, the court remanded the suspect in custody without bail on murder and terrorism charges.

During the deadly incident on January 26th, the suspect entered San Isidro church and attacked its priest with a machete, leaving him seriously wounded before entering Nuestra Señora de La Palma.

There he attacked the verger and chased him out of the church where he killed him.

‘Targeted priests and infidels’

Court details released on Monday said the attacker had also injured three other people, including another Moroccan man whom he “considered an infidel” because he had renounced his faith.

It said Kanjaa’s actions could be “qualified as a jihadist attack directed at both priests who profess the Catholic faith, and Muslims who, according to the suspect, don’t follow the Koran”.

The court said the suspect fits the profile of a “self-indoctrinated terrorist who acts individually without direct ties to a specific terror group but operates in the name of jihadist philosophy”.

Last week, Spain’s left-wing government refused to rule out mental illness and the police have described him as “unstable”.

The court said Kanjaa became indoctrinated “rapidly” within the space of up to six weeks, citing witnesses as telling police that just before that, he “was drinking alcohol and smoking hashish”. Then he suddenly started listening “regularly to the Koran on his mobile phone”.

One of Kanjaa’s neighbours told AFP something similar on Friday, saying he had changed radically six weeks ago, growing a beard and wearing a long robe.

Officials have said Kanjaa was served with a deportation order last June but had no prior convictions and was not under surveillance.

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