The fleeing widow of an Islamic State gunman and a man described as his logistician were convicted on Wednesday of terrorism charges and sentenced to 30 years in prison in the trial of 14 people linked to the Paris bombings of January 2015 against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher. supermarket.
The verdict ends the three-month trial linked to the three days of murders in Paris jointly claimed by the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. During the proceedings, France has been hit by new attacks, a wave of coronavirus infections among the defendants, and devastating testimonies testifying to a bloodbath that continues to shake France.
Protesters in Pakistan chant anti-French slogans after Macron pleads for understanding
Patrick Klugman, an attorney for market attack survivors, said the verdict sent a message to supporters. “We accuse the executioner, but in the end it’s worse to be his valet,” he said.
The story continues under the ad
The three attackers died during police raids. The widow, Hayat Boumeddiene, fled to Syria and is believed to be still alive. The two men who drove her from France are believed to be dead, although one was sentenced to life in prison in case and the other was sentenced separately.
Eleven others were present and all were convicted of the crime, with sentences ranging from 30 years for Boumeddiene and Ali Riza Polat, described as the lieutenant of the virulently anti-Semitic market attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, to four years with a simple conviction. criminal.
The attacks from January 7 to 9, 2015 in Paris left 17 dead with the three armed men. The 11 men on trial formed a circle of friends and criminal acquaintances who claimed that any facilitation they might have made was unintentional.
Police intervention underway after 4 stab wounds near the former Charlie Hebdo office in Paris
A gambler played day and night during the three-day period, only learning what had happened after coming out of the casino in trouble. Another was an ambulance driver smoking marijuana. A third was a childhood friend of the market attacker, who was beaten to a pulp by the latter due to debt.
It was Polat’s coronavirus infection that forced the trial to stay for a month.
Polat’s lawyer, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, described him as a scapegoat who knew nothing about Coulibaly’s plans. She said he would appeal.
“He knew from the start that it was a mock trial,” she said afterwards.
In all, investigators sifted through 37 million bits of telephone data, according to video testimony from the judicial police. Among the handcuffed men behind the closed courtroom bleachers, flanked by masked and armed officers, there were several who had exchanged dozens of texts or calls with Coulibaly in the days leading up to the attack. .
‘I trust the Electoral College’: Trump voters reluctantly accept Biden’s victory
Iran sentences zombie Angelina Jolie to 10 years in prison for photos
Also testified were the widows of Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers who stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 7, 2015, decimating the newspaper’s editorial staff in what they said was an act of revenge for its publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from years ago. . The desks had already been set on fire and weren’t marked, and the editors had 24-hour protection. But that wasn’t enough.
In all, 12 people died that day. The first was Frédéric Boisseau, who worked in maintenance. Then the Kouachis grabbed Corinne Rey, a cartoonist who had gone to smoke, and forced her to set the door code. She watched in horror as they opened fire on the editorial meeting.
Charlie Hebdo will continue to publish cartoons on Islam despite attacks in France
The story continues under the ad
“I was not killed, but what happened to me was absolutely scary and I will live with it until my life is over,” she said.
The next day, Coulibaly shot and killed a young policewoman after failing to attack a Jewish community center on the outskirts of Montrouge. By this time, the Kouachis were on the run and France was paralyzed with fear.
Authorities did not immediately link the shooting to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. They were getting closer to the Kouachis when the first alerts were reported by an armed man in a kosher supermarket. It was a wintry Friday afternoon, and customers were rushing to finish their shopping before the Sabbath when Coulibaly entered, carrying an assault rifle, pistols and explosives. With a GoPro camera attached to his chest, he methodically shot an employee and a customer, then killed a second customer before ordering a cashier to close the store’s metal blinds.
The first victim, Yohan Cohen, was dying on the ground and Coulibaly turned to about twenty hostages and asked him if he should “finish him off”. Despite their calls, Coulibaly fired the shot, according to the testimony of cashier Zarie Sibony.
“You are Jewish and French, the two things I hate the most,” Coulibaly told them.
About forty kilometers away, the Kouachi brothers were cornered in a printing press with their own hostages. Ultimately, all three attackers died in near-simultaneous police raids. It was the first attack in Europe claimed by the Islamic State group, which struck Paris again later that year with even more deadly effect.
“This is the end of a trial that has been crazy, enlightening, painful but which has been useful,” said Richard Malka, lawyer for Charlie Hebdo.
Prosecutors said the Kouachis essentially self-funded their attack, while Coulibaly and his wife took out fraudulent loans. Boumeddiene, the only woman on trial, fled to Syria days before the attack and appeared in Islamic State propaganda.
A witness, the French widow of an Islamic State emir, said from prison that she ran into Boumeddiene late last year in a camp in Syria and Boumeddiene’s foster sisters said that they thought she was still alive. Testifying as a free man after a brief prison sentence, for reasons defense lawyers and victims have described as puzzling, this far-right sympathizer became a police informant who actually sold the weapons at Coulibaly.
The Charlie Hebdo trial begins in Paris
Three weeks after the trial began, on September 25, a Pakistani man steeped in radical Islam and armed with a butcher’s knife attacked two people outside the liberated Charlie Hebdo offices.
Six weeks after the start of the trial, on October 16, a French teacher who opened a debate on freedom of expression by showing students the cartoons of Muhammad was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee.
Eight weeks after the start of the trial, on October 30, a young Tunisian armed with a knife and carrying a copy of the Koran attacked worshipers in a church in the southern city of Nice, killing three people. He had a picture of the Chechens on his phone and an audio message describing France as a “land of unbelievers”.
© 2020 The Canadian Press