A French court has ruled that Clint Eastwood is not allowed to testify in the trial of an alleged Islamist gunman who opened fire while on a Thalys train travelling through Europe in 2015.
Moroccan national Ayoub el Khazzani is facing life in prison if found guilty of plotting to kill passengers aboard the train from Amsterdam to Paris in August, 2015. He was apprehended and subdued by a trio of American holiday-goers when his rifle jammed, while a further man was shot in the back when trying to intervene.
The incident was dramatized in the 2018 movie The 15:17 To Paris, which Eastwood directed. The movie was based on the 2016 autobiography The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes.
El Khazzani claims he had a change of heart at the last minute and was not going to go through with the attack, which is not depicted in the film.
Reuters is reporting today that a lawyer for the defence wanted to question Eastwood on his directing of the material, claiming that the film could influence people’s view of the attack. Prosecutors opposed the request, saying Eastwood did not witness the attack and would not be a useful witness. The judge sided with the prosecutors and refused the request.