According to French media reports, in 2009 Amedy Coulibaly met former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The 32-year-old Coulibaly is holding at least five hostages in a kosher super in Porte de Vincennes, in eastern Paris. He threatens to kill the hostages if the French authorities do not allow the brothers Kouachi to escape. Cherif and Said Kouachi are the perpetrators of the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo on January 8.
On 15 July 2009 Coulibaly had a training contract with Coca-Cola in the commune of Grigny in the southern suburbs of Paris. He was part of a delegation that met then-President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss issues concerning youth unemployment. “I am happy,” said Coulibaly to a newspaper that interviewed him. “We people of Grigny we don’t usually go to the Elysee. Moreover, Sarkozy isn’t very popular here. But this is nothing personal. Meeting him is really impressive. Though we don’t love him, he’s still the President.”
Just one year later, Coulibaly was arrested by anti-terrorism units because he had contacts with a terrorist organisation. He was also convicted of armed robbery and drug trafficking. Overall he was condemned to 18 years imprisonment, but he was released about half a year ago.