May 18, 2015 / 1:33 PM / in 3 years

French police cleared over deaths in 2005 riots case

RENNES, France (Reuters) - A French court on Monday acquitted two police officers over the death of two youths in a Paris suburb in 2005, in a case that had triggered the country’s worst riots in decades.

The police officers were sent to trial over whether they had failed to provide help to 15-year old Bouna Traore and 17-year old Zyed Benna when they hid from police in an electric transformer. The officers said they did nothing wrong.

Some 10,000 cars and 300 buildings were set on fire after the two teenagers died in three weeks of riots that had attracted world-wide attention and prompted the government to declare a state of emergency.

“I‘m disgusted (by the court ruling). I‘m really disappointed. Policemen are untouchable. It’s not just in this case, they are never convicted,” said Adel Benna, the brother of one of the two victims.

Reporting by Pierre-Henri Allain; Writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by John Irish

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