Charlie Hebdo terror assault suspects go on trial in Paris


Paris, September 2

Thirteen males and a girl went on trial on Wednesday over the 2015 assaults towards the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery store in Paris that marked the start of a wave of violence by the Islamic State group in Europe.

Seventeen folks and all three gunmen died throughout the three days of assaults in January 2015. Later that 12 months, a separate community of French and Belgian fighters for Islamic State struck Paris once more, this time killing 130 folks in assaults on the Bataclan live performance corridor, the nationwide stadium, and in bars and eating places.

Those on trial in France’s terrorism courtroom are accused of shopping for weapons, vehicles, and serving to with logistics. Most say they thought they have been serving to plan an bizarre crime. Three, together with the one lady accused, are being tried in absentia after leaving to affix Islamic State.

“The trial will establish and confirm that the two attacks were coordinated; one was an attack on freedom of expression and the other was against Jews because they were Jews,” Francois Hollande, who was then France’s president, informed RTL radio.

The assaults from January 7-9, 2015, began throughout an editorial assembly at Charlie Hebdo, whose places of work had been unmarked and guarded by police for the reason that publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad years earlier than. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi gunned down 12 folks earlier than carjacking a automobile and fleeing. They claimed the assaults within the identify of al-Qaeda.

Two days later, on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, Amedy Coulibaly stormed the Hyper Cacher grocery store, killing 4 hostages within the identify of the Islamic State group because the brothers took management of a printing workplace exterior the French capital. The attackers died that day throughout near-simultaneous police raids.

It took days extra for investigators to understand that Coulibaly was additionally accountable for the seemingly random demise of a younger policewoman the day past.

It took additional weeks to unravel the community of petty criminals and neighbourhood pals linking the three attackers. By then, Hayat Boumedienne, who had married Coulibaly in a spiritual ceremony, had left for Syria with the assistance of two brothers additionally charged within the case. Most of the 11 who will seem insist their assist in the mass killings was unwitting.

“Since 2012, terrorism capitalised on the prevailing delinquency there is around these terrorists,” mentioned Samia Maktouf, a lawyer for one of many assault survivors. “They are not second fiddles, they are full accomplices.” Despite a world outpouring of help, the assaults have been additionally seen as a large intelligence failure. French authorities ended a cellphone faucet on one of many Kouachi brothers just a few months earlier than they stormed the editorial places of work.

At least one had educated with al-Qaida in Yemen and been convicted of an earlier terrorism offense. The brothers walked away from the carnage that they had induced, escaping simply and drove by means of a number of dragnets earlier than being trapped two days later.

“The government failed. If the intelligence services had done their job, this would not have happened,” mentioned Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, lawyer for the one particular person in courtroom going through a life time period. “The victims don’t simply desire a responsible verdict, however actual justice.

The reality should come out.” The chief choose declined to rule on Coutant-Peyre’s request for a delay within the trial to be taught extra concerning the sale of the weapons to the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly. Investigators by no means decided who offered the weapons.

Her shopper, Ali Riza Polat, is accused of serving because the hyperlink between the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly. He seems at every stage of planning the assault, based on the judicial investigation, organising safe cellphone strains, checking the worth of explosives and ammunition, and touring with Coulibaly to Belgium.

Wednesday’s trial opened beneath tight safety, with a number of police checks for the primary courtroom and the overflow rooms. At close by newsstands, the newest concern of Charlie Hebdo appeared, defiantly reprinting the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed cited by the gunmen who killed so lots of the publication’s editorial employees.

Patrick Pelloux, a Charlie Hebdo contributor who missed the editorial assembly the day of the killings, mentioned he had been dreading the trial.

“You have to understand the emotion we’re feeling, it’s very hard,” Pelloux mentioned. “We have to let justice run its course.” — AP



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