Suspects released in Sarkozy death threats probe
French police have released all 11 people arrested two days ago over death threats and bullets sent to President Nicolas Sarkozy and other politicians, a judicial source said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
It is the second time that police have made arrests over the mysterious letters, only to release suspects without charge -- much to the embarrassment of security services, who are under pressure from the very top to solve the case.
A first batch of brown envelopes containing 9 mm cartridges and letters with threats like "You are all dead men walking" was sent to Sarkozy, two ministers, the mayor of Bordeaux and other center-right politicians in March.
Since then, similar letters have sporadically appeared in mail rooms at politicians' offices. The latest, meant for Sarkozy, was intercepted by postal services in Montpellier, southwest France, in August.
The letters were signed by an unknown group calling itself "Fighters from Cell 34."
The 11 people arrested on Thursday were shopkeepers, former soldiers and members of a shooting club who all live in villages near Montpellier. The judicial source said one was a well-known local political activist who had campaigned against plans to erect wind turbines near a small town. The mayor of the town was one of those who received letters.
However, a police source said searches at the suspects' homes had not yielded convincing evidence.
Police had arrested a man in March on suspicion of sending the letters after he was denounced by his wife. The man was briefly detained and released without charge.