Suspect in Nantes cathedral fire held over French priest’s killing

A Rwandan man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a Roman Catholic priest in western France.

The body of Olivier Maire was found in the village of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in the Vendée area on Monday morning.

The 40-year-old man is also suspected of starting a fire that seriously damaged the cathedral in nearby Nantes in July last year.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised the “generosity” of Fr Maire and said his thoughts were with all Catholics in France.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin echoed those sentiments and said he on his way to the area.

The killing has sparked political debate about why the suspect was still in France.

On Twitter Mr Darmanin criticised a post by far-right politician Marine Le Pen, who asked why the man suspected over the Nantes fire had not been deported.

Mr Darmanin said that although the asylum request had been rejected, the suspect could not be expelled while being investigated on charges of arson.

BBC