Boyfriend of Paris policeman murdered in Isis-inspired attack marries him posthumously

Posthumous marriages have been part of French law since 1803

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The Independent Online

The partner of a French police officer who was gunned down by an Islamic extremist on Paris’s Champs-Élysées has reportedly married him posthumously

Former French President Francois Hollande and Parisien mayor Anne Hidalgo attended the ceremony which saw Etienne Cardiles tie the knot with the deceased Xavier Jugelé, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

Mr Jugelé, a prominent campaigner for LGTB rights within the police service, was shot dead on 20 April, three days before the first round of the French presidential election.

His killer Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French national, was known to the country’s authorities at the time of the attack and he had been detained in February for threatening to kill police.

He had already convicted of attempted murder after shooting at two police officers in 2001 when they tried to stop his stolen car. While serving a 10-year sentence, he also shot and wounded a prison officer after grabbing his gun.

Isis subsequently claimed his attack on Mr Jugele, although the group  described him as a “soldier” and referred to him by the pseudonym, “Abu Yousif al-Belgiki” (the Belgian), implying that he was from Belgium, when in fact he was French.

After his death it subsequently emerged that Mr Jugele had been among the first responders to the attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris in November 2015, where gunmen killed 90 concertgoers.

Mr Hollande posthumously made him a knight of the Legion of Honour, one of France’s highest honours.

Mr Cardiles captured the country’s imagination, during a tearful eulogy for his slain partner.  

Addressing hundreds of mourners at a ceremony at Paris police headquarters, he said Mr Jugelé had “lived like a star and left like a star” and he spoke of his “extreme pain” at the death.

For their marriage to be formalised, Mr Cardiles had to seek the permission of the president and demonstrate to the French leader that there are serious motives behind the ceremony as well an "unequivocal matrimonial will" of the deceased. 

Posthumous marriages have been part of French law since 1803, although it has been altered over the years. After the First World War, it allowed women to legitimise the children conceived before their husband’s death and to receive a pension.

It is thought Mr Hollande signed off on Mr Cardiles ceremony before leaving office.