Paris bombing: Life sentence for only one survivor

Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of the 2015 Paris attacks, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday without parole.

Life imprisonment is the most severe punishment in the French penal system and is rarely used.

Salah Abdeslam (AP, file by Belgium Federal Police)

Of the 20 defendants, 19 received multiple sentences related to terrorism and one – Farid Kharkach – was convicted on a minor fraud charge.

Throughout the trial, Abdeslam declared his extremism, cried, apologized to the victims and begged the judges to forgive his “mistakes”.

On November 13, 2015, cafes and restaurant terraces were attacked in an attack on the Bataclan concert hall – next to the State de France stadium where the French football team played Germany – during the concert of the American band Eagles of Death Metal. 130 people.

Attack on Bataclan
AP Photo / Kamil Zihnioglu, file

Waiting today for the sentence of 20 accused, the arbitral tribunal deliberately isolated him in a secret military camp for two and a half days.

The president of the court, Judge Jean-Louis Peris, concluded the nine-month trial and read the verdicts in a courtroom surrounded by unprecedented security.

Mohammed Abrini, the “man” of the Brussels attacks, was sentenced to life in prison on November 13, 2015 for allegedly providing logistical support.

Osama Graeme and Sofian Ayari, who were “convinced” that they would carry out the attack at Amsterdam Airport on the same day as the Paris attacks, were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Mohammed Baqali, considered a “loyalist” of cell logistics, was sentenced by the National Anti-Terrorism Attorney’s Office to 30 years in prison.

Six defendants were interrogated in absentia, including five senior Islamic State (IS) officials who were presumed dead, including Belgian Osama Atar, who is said to have supported the attacks.

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Sentences ranged from two years to life imprisonment and three defendants were given suspended sentences, but did not return to prison.

On the night of November 13, 2015, sixteen defendants went to court, including Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of a group of 10 men who terrorized the French capital.

For the families of the victims of the attacks and the survivors, this investigation is painful but important in their search for justice.

During the operation, which was unprecedented in France, 1,800 witnesses were questioned and 330 lawyers were summoned.

A courtroom was built for the occasion and installed in the Palace of Justice in Paris next to the Notre Dame. This room will now be kept for the process of the July 14, 2016 attacks in Nice.

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