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French Court Jails 13 Accomplices Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

File picture: French police and forensic officers examine the scene of an assault after a number of folks have been injured close to the previous workplaces of the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo by a person wielding a knife within the capital Paris on September 25, 2020. Alain JOCARD / AFP

 

A Paris court docket on Wednesday handed jail phrases starting from 4 years to life to 13 accomplices convicted of serving to Islamist gunmen who massacred cartoonists at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and clients at a Jewish grocery store in early 2015.

Ali Riza Polat, accused by prosecutors of being a right-hand man of one of many attackers, was convicted of complicity in terror crimes by the court docket and given a 30-year sentence.

The court docket gave the identical time period in absentia to Hayat (*13*), the associate of one of many attackers. She fled to Syria within the wake of the killings.

A life jail sentence was given to a different prime suspect, Mohamed Belhoucine, though he was additionally tried in absentia and is presumed to be lifeless in Syria.

A complete of 14 suspected accomplices went on trial over the assaults, three of them in absentia.

All of these current in court docket have been convicted for his or her function in offering assist for the killings.

A 14th accused, Mehdi Belhoucine, the brother of Mohamed and likewise presumed lifeless, was not sentenced on Wednesday as a result of the court docket thought of him to have already been convicted at a separate trial in January.

Those on trial have been accused of aiding brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath, and their confederate, the grocery store hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly.

All three attackers have been killed by French safety forces after the assaults.

– ‘Freedom has last word’ –
Seventeen folks have been killed over three days of assaults in January 2015, starting with the bloodbath of 12 folks on the journal, which had revealed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

That assault was adopted by the homicide of a French policewoman and the hostage-taking on the Hyper Cacher market wherein 4 Jewish males have been killed.

Over three months lengthy, the trial was repeatedly held up as a result of Covid-19 pandemic however has once more highlighted the horror of the assaults, throughout a interval when France has confronted new killings blamed on Islamist radicals.

Christophe Deloire, the pinnacle of press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), mentioned he welcomed the decision.

File picture: French police and forensic officers examine the scene of an assault after a number of folks have been injured close to the previous workplaces of the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo by a person wielding a knife within the capital Paris on September 25, 2020. Alain JOCARD / AFP

 

“It is proof that violent extremists don’t have the last word. Thanks to justice, it is freedom that has the last word,” he wrote on Twitter.

On the duvet of its new subject to mark the verdicts, Charlie Hebdo in sometimes provocative fashion revealed an image of God being led away in a police van with the title “God put in his place”.

“The cycle of violence, which had began in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, will finally be closed,” its editor-in-chief Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who was badly injured within the assaults, wrote in an editorial.

“At least from the perspective of criminal law, because from a human one, the consequences will never be erased, as the testimony of the victims at the trial showed,” Riss added.

Riss acknowledged in his editorial that there had been “great difficulty” in establishing the legal duty of the accused within the hearings, whereas including the trial was “first and foremost that of this political terror which one calls Islamism”.

– ‘Deathly silence’ –
The Kouachi brothers claimed they have been appearing on behalf of Al-Qaeda, whereas Coulibaly had sworn loyalty to the Islamic State group.

Columnist Sigolene Vinson, who survived the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath, informed the court docket of the “deathly silence” within the workplace as her colleagues lay lifeless throughout her.

Former Hyper Cacher cashier Zarie Sibony described stepping over our bodies within the aisles of the grocery store throughout Coulibaly’s four-hour standoff with police.

Those killed within the Charlie Hebdo assault included a few of France’s most celebrated cartoonists resembling Jean Cabut, often known as Cabu, 76, Georges Wolinski, 80, and Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47.

To mark the beginning of the trial on September 2, Charlie Hebdo defiantly republished the cartoons of the prophet that had angered Muslims.

Three weeks later, a Pakistani man wounded two folks exterior the journal’s former workplaces, hacking at them with a cleaver.

On October 16, a younger Chechen refugee beheaded trainer Samuel Paty who had confirmed among the caricatures to his pupils.

And on October 29, three folks have been killed when a younger Tunisian lately arrived in Europe went on a stabbing spree in a church within the Mediterranean metropolis of Nice.

President Emmanuel Macron’s authorities has launched laws to deal with radical Islamist exercise in France, a invoice that has stirred anger in some Muslim international locations.

AFP

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