Twenty people are being tried on suspicion of involvement in the November 2015 Paris attacks, in which 130 people lost their lives. Fourteen suspects are in court. One man, Salah Abdul Salam, the only surviving surviving member of the assassination squad who left death and destruction behind on his assassination mission, made himself the center of attention on the first day of the trial.
“The hearing is open. Please sit down.” With those words, Jean-Louis Perez, president of the five-man tribunal, began a trial of 20 people believed to be planning a series of attacks by so-called Islamic State commando units. And were involved in their implementation. The French capital six years ago.
The attacks killed 130 people, led directly to at least one suicide, and injured hundreds physically and psychologically.
The trial began with the self-identification of the 14 accused. Six others are being prosecuted in his absence.
Salah Abdul Salam in court
Salah Abdul Salam was first asked to identify himself.
He looked at the five judges and said, “First of all, I want to say that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His prophet and servant.”
“We’ll see about that later,” the president asked the accused what his profession was.
Abdul Salam replied, “I gave up all professions to become an Islamic State fighter.”
He later declined to name his mother or father, saying they had nothing to do with it. He added no.
In contrast, 13 other defendants answered questions in court without animosity.
Everyone was properly informed that he had the right to testify before the tribunal, answer questions or remain silent.
The formalities are over, and the focus is on the survivors and the families of the victims who want to take part in the case as plaintiffs, known in French as “Less Parties Civilians”.
1,750 people represented.
Here 1,750 people are legally entitled to be represented in court and to give evidence if they wish. Hundreds have already emerged. This stage of the trial will ensure the correct registration of anyone else who may be heard.
And then, the second drama of the day began with the fall of one accused, Farid Kharkhach. It is suspected that he provided false documents to several terrorists, thus facilitating their return to Europe from the war zone in Syria / Iraq.
The court was suspended so that Kharkhach could receive medical treatment.
At the resumption, about 30 minutes later, one of the lawyers representing Farid Kharkhech came forward to complain about the circumstances under which his client was being imprisoned.
Albright de Giardin said the disaster was not an accident. “My client is known for his critical mental health. He is suffering from depression. I am afraid it will happen again. Arriving here today, he has been subjected to a naked body search. I ask the court if this is the treatment. Is necessary. “
‘Treated like dogs’
On this occasion, Salah Abdul Salam played his second dramatic part in the operation.
“We are treated like dogs,” he complained, stroking the air with his index finger. “Here, with flat screen TVs and all that, it’s great, but back there, back.
“I have been treated like a dog for six years. But I have never complained. Because I know that after my death my life will be in the arms of God. And you,” he pointed to the judges. “The answer.”
To which the President replied: “Mr. Abdul Salam, this is a different kind of question. We are not here in a judicial tribunal. This is a secular court of justice. Please sit down and remain silent.”
It was finally necessary to temporarily disconnect the microphone in the prison cell before the trial could proceed.
We did not hear the last incident of Salah Abdul Salam.
The hearing will resume on Thursday.