French rapper MHD jailed for 12 years for murdering young man in Paris

The rapper was charged with second-degree murder in 2019

Stuti Mishra
Sunday 24 September 2023 09:47 BST
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French rapper Mohamed Sylla, aka MHD, arrives for the opening of his and eight other men’s trial
French rapper Mohamed Sylla, aka MHD, arrives for the opening of his and eight other men’s trial (AFP via Getty Images)

A popular rapper in France known as MHD has been given a 12-year jail term for the murder of a young man in Paris in 2018.

The 29-year-old, whose real name is Mohamed Sylla, was found guilty of involvement in the gang-related murder of Loic K, 23, by a court in the capital.

The rapper was charged with voluntary manslaughter in 2019 after the victim was knocked down by MHD’s Mercedes, then beaten and stabbed to death by a crowd of about 12 people.

MHD was arrested on 15 January 2019 and two days later indicted and charged with second-degree murder.

The rapper continued to plead his innocence up to and including on the day of his sentencing, according to the AFP news agency.

“From the beginning, I have maintained my innocence in this case and I will continue to maintain my innocence,” he reportedly said.

He was tried alongside eight co-defendants, out of which three were acquitted, while five others received sentences ranging from 10 to 18 years, according to The Guardian.

MHD said he was never at the scene of the murder, arguing that the case against him was based on rumours.

However, a video shot by a local resident showed a car during the incident which was later identified as belonging to MHD.

Other witnesses identified him by his haircut and a jumper.

The incident was earlier reported as a fight between two rival street gangs. Arguing his innocence, his lawyer cited his “lack of a judicial record” and affirmed he has “never been involved in fights between street gangs”.

It was not immediately clear whether the rapper or others sentenced will challenge the decision.

MHD is known for blending trap music with the music of West Africa in a genre he coined “Afro Trap”. He started his career at the age of 18 and soon rose to fame with his music videos on YouTube.

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