This extraordinary trial by its duration, its more than 2,500 civil parties and its emotional charge is coming to an end, more than six and a half years after the worst attacks ever perpetrated on French soil.
The hearing is due to start at 12:30 p.m. In turn and for three days, the representatives of the national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office (Pnat) will stand up to demonstrate what, according to them, are the responsibilities of each of the accused tried since September 8 before the special assize court in Paris.
Camille Hennetier, Nicolas Braconnay and Nicolas Le Bris will try to piece together the puzzle of a titanic file, first in a general way, then by developing the case of each of the 20 accused – six of them, including five senior executives of the Islamic State organization presumed dead in Syria, are tried in their absence – before demanding sentences against them on Friday.
Twelve face life imprisonment, including Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the commandos who sowed death at the Stade de France, on the Parisian terraces, and in the Bataclan concert hall.
Mutic during the investigation, the 32-year-old Frenchman answered questions during the trial, but his “truth” struggled to convince the prosecution.
It was “out of humanity” and not “out of cowardice”, he explained, that he himself did not kill, renouncing to activate his explosive belt in a bar in the 18th arrondissement. The man who presented himself as an “Islamic State fighter” at the start of the trial finally shed tears during his last speech a few months later. “I ask you to hate me in moderation”, he prayed to the survivors and relatives of the victims, asking for their “pardon”.
The prosecution, which has always preferred the thesis of a malfunction of his belt, confronted Salah Abdeslam with his contradictions during his interrogations.
“Strange”, “incongruous”, considered the magistrates of the Pnat, that the main defendant was recruited by the jihadist cell only a few days before the attacks, as he argued.
Or that he could not identify the famous bar he was supposed to target – which does not appear anywhere in the documents listing the “targets” discovered in a computer of the jihadist cell.
Hard to believe finally, while the commandos of the Stade de France, the terraces and the Bataclan were all composed of three men, that Salah Abdeslam operates “all alone”, he who unlike the others had never gone to train in Syria .
In addition to the main defendant who incurs incompressible life imprisonment – an extremely rare sanction which makes any adjustment of sentence very difficult – the Advocates General will request against Mohamed Abrini, “the man in the hat” of the Brussels attacks who was also “planned” for the 13 -November, and the “good friends” who helped Salah Abdeslam during his escape.
Some, like the accused Farid Kharkhach, who made false papers “without knowing” that they were intended for the jihadist cell, or Yassine Atar, who swears to be linked to the file only because he is the brother of the sponsor of the Osama Atar attacks, hope that the proceedings have changed the prosecution’s mind.
There should be no surprises in the requisitions, scheduled to span a total of fifteen hours, the case having changed little during the more than 130 days of hearings.
These requisitions follow the pleadings of the civil parties, completed on Tuesday evening.
For two weeks, the lawyers returned to this night of horror and chaos, these scenes of war in front of the Stade de France or in the heart of Paris which left indelible wounds.
After the requisitions, the floor will be given to the defense from June 13. The verdict is expected on June 29.