French Rap Star Gets 18-Year Jail Sentence For Murder

The rapper MHD has been sentenced to 12 years in jail, following his conviction for the murder of a young man.

The BBC reports that the 29-year-old, whose real name is Mohamed Sylla, was found guilty of involvement in the gang-related killing of Loic K, aged 23, in Paris in 2018.

The French court heard that the victim was knocked down by MHD’s car, a Mercedes, before being beaten and stabbed by a group of up to 12 people. MHD had entered a “not guilty” plea to the charge. Five of his co-defendants were also convicted, while another three were acquitted.

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AFP news agency reports that MHD told the court, “From the beginning, I have maintained my innocence in this case and I will continue to maintain my innocence.” He said he wasn’t at the scene of the crime, and the case against him was based on rumours. Part of the evidence against him was footage filmed by a local resident though the window of his home, while MHD was identified by other witnesses.

MHD has a huge following on social media and is known for coming up with the idea of “Afro trap” – a blending of trap music with the sounds of West Africa. He was previously a part of the rap collective 1.9 Reseaux.

He enjoyed success over the last decade through material published on social media, and videos on YouTube. He released his debut album in 2016 – MHD sold 200,000 copies in six months. He has been on remand since his arrest in 2019.

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