France Files Charges Against Gunman's Brother

By the Associated Press | March 25, 2012 | 1:37 PM EDT

An unidentified man with his head covered, believed to be Abdelkader Merah or his companion, sits between masked police officers as they head to the French police's anti-terrorist headquarters in Levallois-Perret, outside Paris, Saturday, March 24, 2012. Merah's brother, Mohamed Merah is blamed for a series of deadly shootings which have shocked France and upended the country's presidential race. Merah, who claimed allegiance to al-Qaida, died in a hail of gunfire Thursday after a dramatic 32-hour-long standoff with law enforcement. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors have filed preliminary murder and terrorism charges against the brother of a gunman who killed Jewish schoolchildren and paratroopers in attacks that stunned the country.

An official from the prosecutor's office says the preliminary charges were handed to Abdelkader Merah on Sunday. He is suspected of complicity to murders and thefts and involvement in a terrorist enterprise.

Preliminary charges under French law mean there is strong reason to suspect a crime was committed but allow magistrates more time to investigate.

Merah's younger brother Mohamed was shot dead by police after claiming responsibility for killing three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers earlier this month.