“The civil parties must understand, you have a duty of truth towards them”, launched one of them, Me Ludovic de Villèle, to the six judges of the special assize court of Paris.

The author of the Nice attack, which left 86 dead and more than 400 injured on the Promenade des Anglais on July 14, 2016, was shot dead by the police in his ram truck.

In his absence, eight people have been tried since September 5: three for terrorist criminal association and five for arms trafficking. None is prosecuted for complicity in the murderous act.

“For the victims, it is not a question of finding the culprits at all costs (…) but of understanding how we could have come to this,” assured Me Charles-Antoine Ciccolini.

“You will endeavor to pronounce sentences commensurate with the acts committed” by those who “permitted or helped the realization” of the attack, however enjoined Me de Villèle.

He also invited the court to “take the time for pedagogy, for explanation, in the pronouncement of (his) decision, so that each civil party” can understand “the meaning and scope”.

According to the Parisian lawyer, this is the condition to “allow the gaping wound” that many of them still feel, more than six years after the facts, “can heal”.

2,500 people are civil parties to the trial: injured, psychologically shocked or relatives of deceased persons.

– “Kill a second time” –

“All the victims, at some point, were afraid for their lives, even if they were not in the path of the truck”, insisted Me Sabria Mosbah, referring to the “heavy fire of the police”, the false alerts of taking of hostages who circulated after the attack or fears of a “sur-attack”.

Several lawyers also underlined the “double pain” of the Muslim victims, who were the target of many racist comments after the attack, such as this grieving woman who was told: “good, it will be one less”.

“This attack struck blindly, the truck did not sort anyone”, recalled Me Marceau Perdereau, returning back to back “the blind and cruel hatred” of the “terrorist” and that of the “skinny” who “attacked the memory” deceased persons.

Double punishment also for the families whose deceased relatives have undergone organ removals without their knowledge, underlined Me Virginie Le Roy. “To return the deceased emptied of their substance is to kill them a second time,” said the lawyer.

Me Vincent Ehrenfeld also mentioned the case of “first responders”, police, firefighters or caregivers, who were not the direct target of the ram truck but intervened to stop its course or rescue the victims.

Several came to testify at the helm of the “unimaginable” scene that awaited them on the Promenade, the symptoms of post-traumatic stress that came to assail them and, often, the lack of support from their hierarchy.

“The troubles they have experienced are not related to their profession but to what they have experienced, outside of their training, outside of everything they have been prepared for by their experience”, pleaded the Nice lawyer. .

At the opening of the trial, one of the Advocates General had estimated that the “persons who intervened or arrived on the scene after the neutralization of the author” had certainly been “witnesses to very shocking scenes”, but that “no not having been directly and immediately exposed to the risk of an attack, they cannot, within the meaning of the law, be considered as direct victims”.

The pleadings of the lawyers for the civil parties must continue until Thursday, before the requisitions of the prosecution scheduled for December 6.