13 November’s terror attacks: key steps of this historical trial

Published by Laurent P. · Photos by Laurent P. · Updated on 10 September 2021 at 16h50 · Published on 8 September 2021 at 15h09
This is a historical trial! Six years after the terror attacks on November 13, 2015 in Paris – that killed 130 people and injured 350 more at the Stade de France, the Bataclan and on several terraces in Eastern Paris – the trial of Salah Abdeslam and the 19 other defendants opens this Wednesday September 8, 2021. The trial is expected to last nine months.

The trial for the terror attacks perpetrated on November 13, 2015 opens this Wednesday September 8, 2021 at Paris Special Criminal Court. This uncommon and historical trial is held in a room especially created and is to judge 20 defendants including Salah Abdeslam the only survivor of the attacks in 2015 executed during a horrific night at the Stade de France, the Bataclan and on several terraces of restaurants in Eastern Paris which killed 130 people and injured 350 more.

An uncommon trial on several grounds: it will last nine months, under high security, with a verdict expected for circa May 25, 2022. The trial required two years of preparation and involves in all 300 lawyers for the plaintiffs and 30 lawyers for the defendants, as well as 1,800 plaintiffs and at least 300 of them will be heard during hearings.

Debates opened at 1:15 p.m. under the guidance of the criminal court President Jean-Louis Périès, as well as four assessors. It will take five weeks for the victims to tell this awful night, as well as the after-effects that occurred afterwards. “We hope to show the general public what it means being the victim of terrorism”, Bataclan survivor and president of the Life for Paris association Arthur Dénouveaux told our peers from Franceinfo.

After the hearings, the 14 defendants present (the other six being judged by default as presumed dead) will be interviewed about them and their careers. Another key moment of the trial will be the testimonial of former French president François Hollande as well as his former Secretary of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, and former Paris Prosecutor François Molins, after a short break in the trial to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the attacks.

Starting from mid-November, French and Belgian investigators will be heard. The latter are expected to specify in details the leads of the commandos planned from Syria to Belgium and then, in February 2022, how the logistics of the attack operated. Then, in the spring, it will be time for the defense speeches and the prosecution’s closing speeches. The national counter-terrorism Prosecutor’s Office will also have to state which penalties are planned for the twenty defendants. Note that twelve of them may received a sentence of life imprisonment. Then, the defense will be heard. And the verdict is expected to land in late May 2022.

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