Lonely survivor of Paris massacre attacker commits murder

PARIS – The sole survivor of an Islamic State terrorist group that terrorized Paris in 2015 was convicted Wednesday of murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the attacks. deadliest in French history.

The special counter-terrorism court also convicted 19 other men in connection with the attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, cafes and national stadiums, which left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. permanently injured. It also led to increased French military action against extremists abroad and a lasting change in France’s security posture at home.

Survivors and victims’ families walk out of the packed courtroom, shocked or exhausted after a terrifying nine-month trial that is crucial in the quest for justice and the conclusion of the trial. their.

Lead suspect Salah Abdeslam was found guilty of murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist business. The court found that his explosive vest was malfunctioning, rejecting his argument that he had dropped the vest because he decided not to track his part in the attack on the night November 13, 2015.

Nine other attackers either blew themselves up or were killed by police that night.

Abdeslam, 32 years old, Belgian, was given the most severe sentence possible by France. Life sentences without parole have only been handed down four times in the country – for crimes related to the rape and murder of minors. Neither he nor his attorney spoke publicly after the ruling.

Among the other defendants, 18 were found guilty of terrorism-related offenses, and one was convicted of a lesser charge of fraud. Some were sentenced to life in prison; others are allowed to go free after being sentenced to the end of their sentences.

They have 10 days to appeal. The statements were widely expected, and those present expressed slight surprise; mostly, a little relief.

“I hope to be able to put the word ‘victim’ into the past,” says Bataclan survivor Arthur Denouveaux.

“When things like this happen, you can’t fix it. That’s why you have justice,” he said, even if “justice can’t do everything. “

During the trial, Abdeslam initially proclaimed his extremism but later appeared to progress, weeping, apologizing to the victim and begging the judges to forgive his “mistakes”.

For months, the packed main room and 12 overflowing rooms in the 13th-century Palace of Justice have heard the disturbing accounts of the victims, along with Abdeslam’s testimony. The other defendants were largely accused of helping with logistics or transportation. At least one person is accused of having a direct role in the deadly attacks in March 2016 in Brussels, also by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group.

The trial is an opportunity for bereaved survivors and loved ones to recount the profound horrors inflicted that night and hear details of countless acts of courage, humanity and compassion. hidden among strangers. They want to tell the defendant straight up that they have left a scar that cannot be healed, but not broken.

David Fritz Geoppinger, who was held hostage in the Bataclan, said: “I feel more mature” thanks to the trial. “As a victim, it’s important to hear justice.”

France has been transformed after the attack: Authorities have declared a state of emergency and armed officers are now constantly patrolling public spaces. The violence sparked a soul-searching between the French and the Europeans, as most of the attackers were born and raised in France or Belgium. And they forever changed the lives of everyone who suffered or witnessed the loss.

The trial’s presiding judge Jean-Louis Peries said from the outset that the trial belonged to “the international and national events of this century. “France came out of a state of emergency in 2017, after putting many of the harshest measures into law.

Fourteen defendants were present in court, including Abdeslam. All but one of the six men convicted in absentia are believed to have been killed in Syria or Iraq; the other is in prison in Turkey.

Most of the suspects allegedly helped create false identities, transport the attackers back to Europe from Syria, or provide them with money, phones, explosives or weapons. Abdeslam is the only defendant to be tried on several counts of murder and kidnapping as a member of a terrorist organization.

“Not everyone is a jihadist, but all the people you are judging accept to join a terrorist group, whether convicted, cowardly or greedy,” prosecutor Nicolas Braconnay told the court. in the debates later this month.

Some of the defendants allege that innocent civilians were targeted because of French policies in the Middle East and that hundreds of civilians were killed in Western air strikes on Islamic State-controlled areas in Syria. Syria and Iraq.

In his testimony, former President François Hollande denied claims that his government was at fault. The Paris attackers did not shoot, kill, kill and maim civilians because of religion, he said, but “fanaticism and barbarism.”

The night of the attack was a peaceful Friday evening, with the city’s bars and restaurants packed. At the Bataclan concert venue, the American band Eagles of Death Metal performed in full. At the national stadium, a football match between France and Germany has just begun, attended by President Hollande and then Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The sound of the first suicide bombing at 9:16 p.m. barely drowned out the noise of the stadium crowd. The second came four minutes later. A team of gunmen opened fire on several bars and restaurants in another part of Paris.

Worse than did. At 9:47 pm, three more gunmen stormed into Bataclan, shooting indiscriminately. Ninety people died within minutes. Hundreds of people were held hostage – some seriously – for hours before Hollande ordered the storm to make landfall.

During Monday’s closing argument, Abdeslam’s lawyer Olivia Ronen told the panel that her client should not be found guilty of murder because he was the only one of the group of attackers who did not place any substance. exploded to kill someone else that night.

She insisted during the trial that she “did not provide legitimacy to the attacks” by defending her client in court.

Abdeslam apologized to victims at his final trial on Monday, saying listening to victims’ accounts of “so much suffering” had changed him.

Georges Salines, who lost his daughter Lola in Bataclan, feels Abdeslam’s remorse is insincere. “I don’t think it’s possible to forgive him,” he said.

But for Salines, life without amnesty would go too far.

“I don’t like the idea of ​​deciding in advance that there is no hope,” he said, “I think it’s important to keep hope for any man.”


Surk reports from Nice, France. Associated Press writers Alex Turnbull, Oleg Cetinic and Masha Macpherson in Paris contributed to this report.

Source link


Kig News: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button