Kim Kardashian’s lawyer says the arrest of 17 criminals over the reality star’s terrifying Paris jewel raid ordeal should end ‘outrageous’ speculation it was a PR stunt

By on January 10, 2017
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The arrests of 17 alleged veteran armed robbers behind the multi-million pound Kim Kardashian jewellery heist in Paris will end ‘outrageous’ speculation that it was all a publicity stunt, her lawyer said today.

The accused men, aged mostly between 50 and 72, are suspected of stealing millions of pounds worth of jewellery from Kim Kardashian in Paris.  

Barrister Jean Veil said his 36-year-old client had been left deeply traumatised after being bound, gagged and threatened with death in the French capital last October.

‘I welcome this with great satisfaction,’ said Mr Veil, who said he was due to discuss details of the raids with Ms Kardashian when she woke up in Los Angeles today.

‘These arrests are a nice surprise because on the one hand, it will perhaps make it possible to find the jewellery,’ said Mr Veil.

‘On the other hand, it puts an end to the outrageous speculation by some, who thought it was intelligent to pretend that this robbery was staged, or a publicity stunt organised by Ms Kardashian.’

Mr Veil indicated that Ms Kardashian would look forward ‘putting her nose up’ at those who had doubted her word.

Reality star Kim, 36, was woken at 2.35am on October 3 as she slept in her luxury Paris apartment

Reality star Kim, 36, was woken at 2.35am on October 3 as she slept in her luxury Paris apartment

During recent conversations, Mr Veil said Ms Kardashian ‘still showed some form of anxiety. I think she was recently shocked and had the opportunity to say so on television.  

‘The money she lost during this robbery is not the only issue. Even though my client was not injured, this assault was very brutal and traumatic. Imagine yourself alone, at night, in front of armed people.’

Ms Kardashian feared ‘they’re going to shoot me in the back,’ she said this weekend on ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, adding: ‘There’s no way out. It makes me so upset to think about it.’

Today it also emerged that French police have failed to call on the key witness in the case – because the authorities will not grant him a temporary visa to enter France. 

 

The sixteen suspects' homes are still being searched, with documents and other potential evidence being seized. A suspect (right) is pictured being escorted to a police station

The sixteen suspects’ homes are still being searched, with documents and other potential evidence being seized. A suspect (right) is pictured being escorted to a police station

Abdulrahman, the Algerian concierge who was tied up and forced to give the robbers access to the reality star’s apartment, left France in November to recover from the stress of the experience.

Currently in Algeria, Abdulrahman, 39, is thought to be the only person to have clearly seen the intruders’ faces, and to have had prolonged conversations with them on the night of the crime.

So far, however, investigators have not contacted him to identify the suspects, and his attempts to enter France to be available to police have been rejected, the Mail Online can reveal.

‘Before leaving France, the judge in charge of this case told my lawyers that I should renew my residence permit so I can travel quickly for the investigation purposes,’ he told MailOnline.

‘Last week, I was in Paris to receive a letter from ‘le prefet de Police’ but he refused my request.’

He added: ‘It is so crazy.’

Coordinated raids at 6am saw a total of 16 men including a ‘major thug’ arrested in the city, and also in the south of France. A handcuffed man was seen being led in to a police station in Paris following the raids today

It comes as police revealed that at least two of the suspects arrested this morning are of northern Algerian descent.

Ouatiki’s lawyer, Henri de Beauregard, told MailOnline: ‘He had a visa that expired in November, and when he applied for a new one, he was refused.

‘He doesn’t want to stay in France for long, he just wants to come and be available for the investigation and help the police. It is important for justice and important for him.

‘A victim is a victim. He is no less a victim than Kim – he has a right to face his aggressor.

Raids are also underway at other key premises, including a jewellery shop in the centre of Paris. Police are pictured bringing a suspect into custody in Paris

Raids are also underway at other key premises, including a jewellery shop in the centre of Paris. Police are pictured bringing a suspect into custody in Paris

‘I don’t know if this is incompetence or just a bad decision. He is the best witness, he saw the criminals much longer than Miss Kardashian. I hope the police have a lot of solid proof and evidence, because if they don’t, it will be seen as a crazy decision.’  

The suspects that police have held are accused of breaking into the reality TV star’s Paris apartment block last October, and tying her up at gunpoint, along with a security guard.

Coordinated dawn raids saw a total of 17 suspects, mostly with long criminal records, arrested in the city and also in the south of France, a source close to the case said. 

This morning, it emerged that the DNA sample that ultimately led to today’s arrest was found on a piece of tape used to gag Ms Kardashian.

A suspect in Kim Kardashian West's Paris robbery is brought to BRB building, Brigade de Repression du Banditisme (suppression of banditry brigade), by police

A suspect in Kim Kardashian West’s Paris robbery is brought to BRB building, Brigade de Repression du Banditisme (suppression of banditry brigade), by police