PARIS ( Associated Press) – A special French court on Wednesday convicted 20 people of their involvement in the 2015 Islamic State terror attacks on the Bataclan theatre, several Paris cafes and France’s national stadium, which killed 130 people and went down in history. were the most severe attacks. of France in peacetime.
Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect and sole survivor of the 10-member extremist team, was found guilty of murder and attempt to murder in connection with a terrorist organization, among other charges. He was sentenced to life in prison without the right to parole, the harshest punishment in France.
Presiding Judge Jean-Louis Perez read out the decisions in a court surrounded by unprecedented security, ending the nine-month trial.
Of the other accused besides Abdeslam, 18 were convicted of multiple terrorism-related convictions and one lesser of fraud.
During the nine-month trial, Abdeslam declared his bigotry, cried, apologized to the victims and asked the judges to pardon him for his “mistakes”.
For the families of the victims and survivors of the attacks, the trial has been harrowing, but significant in their quest for justice and an emotional end.
For months, tragic accounts of victims, along with Abdeslam’s testimony, were heard in the packed main hall of the 13th-century Justice Palace and 12 additional rooms. Other defendants were accused of aiding in large-scale logistics or transportation. At least one was accused of having a direct role in other deadly attacks in Brussels in March 2016, also claimed by the Islamic State group.
Belgium’s Abdeslam, 32, of Moroccan origin, was the only defendant to be tried on multiple counts of murder and kidnapping as a member of the terrorist organization. For crimes related to the rape and murder of minors, Abdeslam was sentenced to life imprisonment without requested parole only four times before in France.