A priest has been found dead with signs of violence in the French town of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in the west of the country, and the authorities are investigating a person who is also linked to the fire in the cathedral of Nantes a year ago.

The body of the victim, identified as Olivier Maire, has been found in his room, inside some premises of a missionary community, according to Franceinfo. The diocese and the local Gendarmerie have confirmed the facts, before which the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, has spoken.

“All my support for the Catholics of our country after the dramatic murder of a priest in Vendée,” he declared on Twitter, where he also announced that he will travel to the place. The authorities, however, rule out the hypothesis of terrorism in this case.

The alleged killer is Emmanuel Abayisenga, 40, a Rwandan refugee accused of setting fire to Nantes Cathedral on July 18, 2020. He was prosecuted in this case and then jailed for several months before being released under judicial supervision pending trial.

The leader of the National Group, Marine Le Pen, has confirmed the link between the two events and regretted that this suspect was able to “reoffend” without first being expelled from the country. “What is happening in our country is of unprecedented gravity: it is the complete failure of the State,” he criticized on Twitter.

Darmanin, alluded to in this message, has responded in this same social network to the “indignity” of Le Pen, which he has made ugly that instead of giving condolences he opts to argue “without knowing the facts.” The minister explained that the suspect could not be deported despite having a pending order, since a judicial control weighed on him.

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