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'Should I tell them there was somebody else there?': French hostage tells of life-or-death dilemma

The French print factory owner taken hostage yesterday knew there was somebody else in the building as he left.

Source: Sky News/YouTube

THE FRENCH PRINT factory owner taken hostage by the two Paris gunmen has spoken of the ‘life or death’ dilemma he faced, after he was told he was being set free.

Michel Catalano was taken hostage by the two brothers responsible for Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attacks yesterday morning, after Said and Cherif Kouachi were cornered by police in the factory in Dammartin-en-Goele, to the north of the French capital.

The businessman was allowed leave after helping Said with a wound, he told Sky News.

However, he knew there was another man still in the building — a 26-year-old graphic designer named in reports as Lilian Lepere who, it’s emerged, texted intelligence to police as he hid under a sink.

“I said to them — look can I leave now? Yes, they said, ‘go on’,” Catalano said, according to Sky’s translation of his interview.

I turned around and I thought to myself — should I say to them that there’s somebody else in the company… Should I tell them about Lilian being there.

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“That was the most difficult thing for me really.”

He said he had been “terrified” until the siege was brought to an end. The Kouachi brothers were eventually shot dead after they emerged from the building, opening fire on police, at around 5pm.

Lilian Lepere was unharmed in the ordeal, and his father later told reporters that he was “doing fine”.

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Daragh Brophy

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