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Main suspect tells Paris attacks trial he’s ‘an Islamic State soldier’

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The main suspect in a jihadist rampage that killed 130 people across Paris described himself defiantly as “an Islamic State soldier” and shouted at the top judge on Wednesday (8 September) at the start of a trial into the 2015 attacks, kirjutama Tangi Salaün, Yiming Woo, Michaela Cabrera, Antony Paone, Ingrid Melander, Benoit Van Overstraeten, Blandine Henault ja Ingrid Melander.

31-aastane Salah Abdeslam on arvatavasti ainus ellujäänud rühmituse liige, kes korraldas 13. novembril 2015 relva- ja pommirünnakuid kuuele restoranile ja baarile, kontserdisaalile Bataclan ja spordistaadionile, milles sai vigastada sadu inimesi. .

He appeared in court dressed in black and wearing a black face mask. Asked his profession, the French-Moroccan removed his mask and told the Paris court: “I gave up my job to become an Islamic State soldier.”

Kui teised kohtualused, keda süüdistatakse relvade, autode hankimises või rünnakute kavandamises, vastasid lihtsalt rutiinsetele küsimustele oma nime ja elukutse kohta ning jäid muidu vaikseks, püüdis Abdeslam selgelt kasutada kohtuprotsessi alust platvormina.

Asked by the court’s top judge to give his name, Abdeslam used the Shahada, an Islamic oath, saying: “I want to testify that there is no god except Allah and that Mohammad is his servant.”

He later shouted at the court’s top judge for two minutes, saying the defendants had been treated “like dogs”, BFM television reported, adding that someone in the public section of the court, where victims and victims’ relatives sit, shouted back: “You bastard, 130 people were killed.”

Victor Edou, a lawyer for eight Bataclan survivors, had said earlier that Abdeslam’s statement that he is an Islamic State soldier was “very violent”.

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“Some of my clients are not doing too well… after hearing a statement that they took as a new, direct threat,” he said. “It’s going to be like that for nine months.”

Others said they were trying not to attach much importance to Abdeslam’s comments.

“I need more to be shocked … I’m not afraid,” said Thierry Mallet, a Bataclan survivor.

Vastutuse rünnakute eest võttis Islamiriik, kes oli kutsunud järgijaid tungivalt ründama Prantsusmaad, kuna see osales võitluses Iraagi ja Süüria võitlejate rühmitusega.

Prantsuse politseijõud turvavad Pariisi kohtumaja lähedal Ile de la Cite France'il enne Pariisi 2015. aasta novembri rünnakute kohtuprotsessi algust Pariisis, Prantsusmaal, 8. septembril 2021. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Pariisis 2015. aasta novembris toimunud rünnakute ohvrite mälestustahvlit näeb Pariisis, Prantsusmaal, 1. septembril 2021. aastal varem nimega Comptoir Voltaire baaris ja restoranis. Kakskümmend kohtualust seisavad Pariisi 2015. aasta novembri rünnakute üle 8. septembrist 2021 kuni 25. maini 2022 Pariisi kohtumajas Ile de la Cite'il, kus osaleb ligi 1,800 tsiviilparteid, üle 300 juristi, sadu ajakirjanikke ja ulatuslikke julgeolekuprobleeme. Pilt tehtud 1. septembril 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo

Before the trial, survivors and victims’ relatives had said they were impatient to hear testimony that might help them better understand what happened and why it did so.

“It is important that the victims can bear witness, can tell the perpetrators, the suspects who are on the stand, about the pain,” said Philippe Duperron, whose 30-year-old son Thomas was killed in the attacks.

“We are also waiting anxiously because we know that as this trial takes place the pain, the events, everything will come back to the surface.”

The trial is expected to last nine months, with nearly 1,800 plaintiffs and more than 300 lawyers involved in what Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti called an unprecedented judicial marathon. The court’s top judge, Jean-Louis Peries, said it was an historic trial.

Eleven of the 20 defendants are already in jail pending trial and six will be tried in absentia – most of them are believed to be dead. Most face life imprisonment if convicted.

Politsei seadis Pariisi kesklinnas Palais de Justice kohtumaja ümber tiheda valve. Kohtualused ilmusid selleks otstarbeks ehitatud kohtusaali tugevdatud klaasist vaheseina taha ja kõik inimesed peavad kohtusse sisenemiseks läbima mitu kontrollpunkti. Loe edasi.

“The terrorist threat in France is high, especially at times like the attacks’ trial,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France Inter radio.

The first days of the trial are expected to be largely procedural. Victims’ testimonies are set to start on 28 September. Questioning of the accused will start in November but they are not set to testify about the night of the attacks and the week before them until March. Loe edasi.

Kohtuotsust ei ole oodata enne mai lõppu, kuid Bataclanist ellujäänud Gaetan Honore, 40, ütles, et algusest peale kohalviibimine oli oluline.

“It was important to be here on the first day, symbolically. I’m hoping to understand, somehow, how this could happen,” he said.

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