Charlie Hebdo: Witness sorry for posting death video

A MAN who filmed the Charlie Hebdo killers murdering an unarmed police officer in Paris has said putting it online was a "stupid reflex" caused by years on social media.

Jordi Mir, an engineer in his 50s, told the Associated Press he realised putting the footage of Ahmed Merabet's death on Facebook was a mistake within minutes but when he took it down 15 minutes later, it was too late to stop it spreading around the world.

He did not realise what he was filming at first on Wednesday morning, when he walked to his window after being disturbed by the sound of gunshots.

Mr Mir initially thought a bank robbery was being carried out and believed gunmen Said and Cherif Kouachi were part of a police SWAT team, unaware they had just massacred 11 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

"I was completely panicked," he said, being interviewed across the Parisian boulevard where Mr Merabet was shot dead.

Ahmed Merabet, 42, died outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine after being shot by armed attackers on 7 January 2015 "I had to speak to someone. I was alone in my flat. I put the video on Facebook. That was my error."

Less than an hour after he took it down, Mr Mir said he was horrified to see his footage airing on the television and spreading on YouTube.

The 42-second clip shows two masked gunmen - later revealed to be the Kouachi brothers - walking towards 42-year-old Mr Merabet as he lay on the ground injured.

"You want to kill us?" one of the brothers says as he strides toward the wounded officer.

"No, it's OK, boss," Merabet says, raising his hand in a gesture of surrender. He was then shot point-blank in the head.

The footage prompted a new wave of horror and revulsion as the world reeled from the Charlie Hebdo attack. The front page of the next day's Le Figaro newspaper featured a still from the video over an editorial called "war".

As police started arriving at the scene, Mr Mir downloaded his video on to a memory device and rushed outside to hand it to officers, before putting it online.

Malek Merabet speaks about the death of his police officer brother Ahmed in the Charlie Hebdo magazine attacks Mr Mir said he had "no answer" to what prompted him to share the footage with his 2,500 Facebook friends, except force of habit after a decade of social networking.

"I take a photo - a cat - and I put it on Facebook. It was the same stupid reflex," he said, adding that if he could go back he would never have posted it.

"On Facebook, there's no confidentiality," he said. "It's a lesson for me."

The video's publication around the world has distressed Mr Merabet's family, who have had to re-live his murder every day.

"How dare you take that video and broadcast it?" his brother, Malek, asked journalists on Saturday. "I heard his voice. I recognised him. I saw him get slaughtered and I hear him get slaughtered every day."

A person at a vigil in Berlin holds up a 'Je suis Ahmed' poster during a rally on Sunday 11 January 2015. A person at a vigil in Berlin holds up a 'Je suis Ahmed' poster during a rally on Sunday 11 January 2015.

He urged people not to confuse terrorists with Muslims like his brother, who he said was a "pillar" of the family who was proud to serve the public in France for eight years in the police and stood by the national principles of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité".