Reuters International

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police have arrested a French man who allegedly supplied the arms used by an Islamist militant to kill four people at a kosher supermarket and a policewoman in Paris in January 2015, Spain's interior ministry said on Wednesday.

Antoine Denive, a 27-year-old from Sainte Catherine in France, was arrested on Tuesday in Rincon de la Victoria, a town close to Malaga on Spain's southern coast, the ministry said in a statement. It was a joint operation with French police, it said.

The Islamist gunman Amed Coulibaly killed a policewoman in a Paris suburb on Jan. 8 and attacked the supermarket the following day. He was shot dead by police. Two other gunmen shot 12 people at and near the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris on Jan 7.

Before he carried out the attacks, Coulibaly spent time in Spain with his wife and an unknown third person, Spain's High Court said last year.

Denive fled France several weeks after the attack in Paris, the statement said, and set up a new base in Malaga where he continued his illegal arms dealing under a false identity. The ministry did not say if Denive was suspected of belonging to an Islamist militant group.

Spain's High Court said on Wednesday Denive had denied selling arms to Coulibaly but said he was willing to be extradited to France. The court would send Denive to be tried in France unless there was another case against him in Spain, El Pais newspaper said.

Two other men from Serbia and Montenegro linked to arms trafficking were also arrested during the police raid, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Angus Berwick, Tomas Gonzalez and Silvio Castellanos; Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Jesus Aguado and Raissa Kasolowsky)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International