The trial has begun in Paris of a man accused of attempting to assassinate the French president two years ago. 27-year-old Maxime Brunerie is alleged to have been a member of neo-nazi and anti-immigration groups. During a July 14 parade on the Champs Elysees in 2002, Brunerie is accused of pulling a rifle out of a guitar case and firing a shot as President Jacques Chirac rode by in a convertible.
Bystanders pushed the rifle’s barrel into the air as the shot went off, and police later managed to apprehend him. Brunerie is said to have later told officials that he wanted his name to go down in history. Defence lawyers are set to challenge earlier psychiatric evaluations that said their client was fit to stand trial. The young man spent time in a psychiatric unit after being arrested.