The trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks opens in Paris

(Paris) The trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks, the worst jihadist attacks on French soil that deeply traumatized the country, was held in the Special Court of Paris on Wednesday in the presence of the defendant Salah Abdeslam. opened, the only surviving member of the commandos.

Posted on Sep 8, 2021 at 8:15 am Updated at 8:28 am

Marie DHUMIERES, Anne-Sophie LASSERRE and Alain JEAN-ROBERT Agence France-Presse

The Franco-Moroccan confrontation took place on Wednesday at around 12:45 p.m. (6:45 a.m. EDT) in the defendants’ box, surrounded by several police officers, a few minutes before the start of this extraordinary trial, AFP journalists noted.

The only surviving member of the unmanned ISIS group that killed 130 people in Paris was asked to reveal his identity – there is no deity but Allah and that Mohamed is his messenger, “citing the Muslim creed.

When asked about his profession, he replied: “I gave up every profession to become a fighter of the Islamic State”.

Machine guns at “suicide bombers” in the Stade de France, bar terraces and the Bataclan performance hall with war weapons and bloodshed in the heart of Paris: the French judiciary began a justice marathon of nine long months on Wednesday that will plunge the a back into horror the jihadist attacks of November 13, 2015, which left 130 dead and more than 350 injured in Paris and Saint-Denis (Paris region), the deadliest in the country.

This extraordinary trial, the largest criminal hearing ever organized in France, opened in the historic courthouse in Paris under the utmost security and in the context of an ever increasing terrorist threat.

“We have to build (a) collective memory by affirming the values ​​of humanity and dignity,” said former Paris prosecutor François Molins to RTL-Radio. And allow “the families of the victims to understand what happened”.

The special jury has to convict the accused, including Salah Abdeslam, by May 24 or 25, 2022.

Ten other men, who had been detained in prisons in the greater Paris area for the duration of the trial, took their places at his side in the box of the defendants, who had been charged with their involvement in these attacks. France, which was shaken by the attacks against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Hyper Cacher store last January, experienced its bloodiest attacks of the post-war period on this day.

Three defendants will appear free under judicial supervision, and six more will be tried by default.

A total of twelve of the twenty defendants face life imprisonment.

This “historical” process is “the one of all superlatives,” said French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti on Monday.

Aside from the size of the case, this criminal proceedings is unprecedented by its length and the number of civil parties of almost 1,800.

An extensive investigation

One of the first high points is expected from September 28, when the testimony of around 300 relatives of victims and survivors of the attacks begins.

You have to take the helm for five weeks to recount this terrible night and its aftermath, personal tragedy mixed with collective fear.

It was 9:16 pm on this Friday, November 13, 2015 when France fell into terror: a “suicide bomber” had just been blown up near the Stade de France, where a friendly between France and Germany was being played.

Then in the heart of Paris, two three-man commandos machine-gun terraces of cafes and restaurants with war weapons and shoot at the crowd at a concert in the Bataclan, where the attack will take place shortly after midnight.

Two attackers are on the run, the hunt is organized. It will take five days: Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Belgian of Moroccan origin, one of the most wanted jihadists and operative leader of the attacks, and his accomplice were killed on November 18 in a police attack on a building in Saint-Denis where they had holed up .

An extensive investigation in collaboration with the Belgian judiciary made it possible to trace the logistics of the attacks, the journey of the commanders who had returned from Syria on the migrant route through Europe to their hiding places in Belgium and near Paris.

PHOTO ARCHIVE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Salah Abdeslam

Exact role of Salah Abdeslam?

The investigation uncovered a much larger cell behind these attacks, which also struck Brussels airport and metro on March 22, 2016, killing 32 people.

In the absence of the director, Belgian-Moroccan and jihad veteran Osama Atar, and other ISIS officers such as the French brothers Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain, who are believed to be dead and will be tried by default, all eyes will be on Salah Abdeslam and the The Belgian-Moroccan Mohamed Abrini, “the man in the hat” of the Brussels attacks.

Will the court, which won’t question you before 2022, manage to remove the last gray areas of the case, starting with the exact role of Salah Abdeslam, who is silent during the investigation?

“This trial promises emotions, which the judiciary must keep at a distance if they do not want to lose sight of the principles of our rule of law,” warned the lawyers of Salah Abdeslam, Olivia Ronen. and Martin Vettes.

“My only fear is that excess will replace sanity,” said Me Marie Violleau, lawyer for the Belgian-Moroccan defendant Mohamed Abrini.

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