The reading of the deliberations could begin “from 5:00 p.m.”, announced President Jean-Louis Périès late Monday morning, before the special assize court withdrew to deliberate in a secret location after 148 days of hearing.

Before that and in front of a packed room at the Paris courthouse, she had given the floor for the last time to the 14 defendants present – six others, including five senior Islamic State officials presumed dead, are being tried in their absence.

“I am not an assassin, I am not a killer”, argued from the box the main of them, Salah Abdeslam, reiterating his “sincere” apologies to the victims.

“Public opinion thinks I was on the terraces with a Kalashnikov, busy shooting people, public opinion says I was at the Bataclan. You know the truth is the opposite,” he said. at court the only surviving member of the commandos that killed 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13, 2015.

“If you condemn me for assassinations, you will commit an injustice,” said Salah Abdeslam.

– “Blood of the victims” –

The prosecution requested against him the heaviest sentence provided for by the penal code: life imprisonment with an incompressible security period, which makes any possibility of release minimal.

The 32-year-old Frenchman adopted during the trial “a strategy of constant minimization of the facts”, had estimated the three representatives of the national anti-terrorism prosecution (Pnat). But he “tried to blow his belt” on the evening of the attacks, and has “the blood of all the victims on his hands”.

In a plea aimed at avoiding this “slow death penalty”, his defense recalled that the sentence had only been pronounced four times, against men recognized as “psychopaths” and convicted of crimes committed against minors.

Salah Abdeslam, who argued at the hearing that he had given up using his explosive vest “out of humanity”, is “neither psychopath nor sociopath”, insisted one of his lawyers, Me Olivia Ronen.

He is a “deserter performer”, but the sanction requested is worthy of a “military tribunal” which judges “enemies” and not “defendants”, vilified his colleague Me Martin Vettes.

Me Ronen said Wednesday morning on France info to wait with “hope and concern” for the verdict for his client and called on the court to “share things”.

– For the “symbol” –

Six years after a night of terror that traumatized France and after a river trial marked by the chilling stories of nearly 400 survivors or relatives at the helm – out of nearly 2,600 civil parties – defense lawyers have put the court warns against the temptation of an “exceptional justice” guided by emotion.

On the first day on September 8, the president had wanted “respect for the norm” to remain the “cap” of this “historic trial”, some reminded him, arguing against the penalties of “elimination”, “revenge” or for the “symbol” required according to them by the prosecution.

“I ask you to make an effort, that of not letting yourself slip”, asked Me Orly Rezlan.

“Justice is not a weapon of anger”, urged Me Marie Violleau, lawyer for Mohamed Abrini, “planned” for November 13 but who had given up, as he would do a few months later in Brussels.

The sentences requested against the 20 defendants range from five years’ imprisonment to life, in particular required for the “accomplices” of the attacks, all members of the same jihadist cell whose commandos were “interchangeable” according to the general attorneys.

The irreducible life sentence was also requested against Osama Atar, “senior terror executive” of the Islamic State group and sponsor of the attacks, presumed dead in Syria.

Three lawyers pleaded acquittal for their “innocent” clients. “I am not a terrorist,” repeated one of them in his last words in court on Monday. “I’m very afraid of your decision,” admitted another between sobs.

“The purpose of a trial is also to understand in order to judge as well as possible and to delimit everyone’s responsibility and to ensure that (this type of attack) does not happen again. I hope that the magistrates will come to understand what happened and to apply the law as well as possible to have the fairest decisions” declared Olivia Ronen on Wednesday.

mdh-asl-aje-nk / gvy