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Only survivor sentenced to life in prison for Paris attacks – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

After more than 150 hours in a secret location, the jury, in the largest trial in France since World War II, was ready to hand down the verdict

The main accused Saleh Abdeslam (32) is the only survivor of the ten who attacked in Paris on 13 November 2015.

He was found guilty of terror and murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Salah Abdeslam has to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Photo: AP

Abdeslam has previously explained that the attacks on IS in Syria were the cause, and France and ordinary French were the target.

“We inflicted the same pain on France as we did,” he said in court in September. At the same time, he denied having killed or injured anyone in the attack.

According to the indictment, the terrorist survived because he failed to detonate the bomb belt he was carrying around his waist. He had his belt thrown off and fled the scene.

The court did not believe Abdeslam’s explanation that he changed his mind at the last minute and even broke his belt.

– The court assumes that the trigger mechanism did not work, said the judge Jean-Louis Périès.

A court drawing shows Salah Abdeslam standing in front of several of the other defendants.

A court drawing shows Salah Abdeslam standing in front of several of the other defendants.

Photo: BENOIT PEYRUCQ / AFP

Largest attack since the war

130 people were killed in the French capital in half an hour.

The massacre began when jihadists blew themselves up outside the Stade de France national stadium, where France played an international match against Germany.

Then armed terrorists drove through the streets of the French capital. They shot at guests sitting on the terraces in front of the cafes and restaurants in the city. There were unusually many people out on a mild and nice autumn evening.

The biggest attack took place at the Bataclan concert arena where the American group Eagles of Death Metal held a concert. Here the attack lasted a long time. People hid, while others fled for their lives.

More than 400 people were injured that night. IS later reported that they were behind the attack.

A total of 20 people have been indicted, but only 14 of them have appeared in court. Five of the accused are considered dead, while the last is in prison in Turkey.

All but one were found guilty by the court of all charges.

The alleged mastermind behind the operation, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed by French police five days after the attacks.

Sea of ​​flowers outside the Bataclan concert hall on 15 November 2015, two days after the terrorist attack.

The brutal and very systematic terrorist attack shocked France and it built up to a sea of ​​flowers at the affected places.

Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Specially built dish

During the many months in the courtroom, more than 2,000 witnesses have testified.

They have told of horrific scenes, full of blood and death, but also of humanity and heroism where people have helped and supported each other.

A specially built courtroom with 500 seats has been filled day after day for almost ten months. In 15 other halls, there was video transmission to those who could not fit in the main hall.

300 lawyers have represented 1765 relatives and victims.

The interest in the verdict was at least as great. Relatives, members of the press and others waited in line for hours to enter the courthouse.

In the middle of the sentencing, the internet connection crashed and delayed the reading of the sentences.

A purpose-built courtroom in Paris.

A specially built courtroom was ready when the trial started in September.

Photo: Francois Mori / AP

In prison for the rest of his life

The prosecutor had filed a claim for the law’s most severe punishment for the only survivor of the attackers, Salah Abdeslam.

And Abdeslam was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Although life imprisonment without probation is the maximum penalty in France, it is still very unusual for someone to be sentenced to prison without the possibility of release. Life imprisonment usually comes out of prison after 20 or 25 years.

Press, relatives, the public and police outside the courthouse where the trial after the Paris attacks took place.

Press, relatives and police outside the courthouse after the verdicts had been handed down on the evening of Thursday 29 June.

Photo: Michel Euler / AP

Swedish citizen also convicted

The other 19 have been charged with having helped the perpetrators in various ways. By, for example, having participated in the planning or procured weapons or cars.

One of them is the Swedish citizen Osama Krayem.

He is also under investigation in Sweden for war crimes committed in Syria.

In an interview with Belgian police several years ago, Krayem denied involvement in the Paris attacks, even though fingerprints from him were found in the apartment where the bombs used during the attacks were made.

He and two others were sentenced to 30 years in prison, where a minimum of two-thirds of the sentence must be served before any probation.

The other defendants who have so far received their sentences have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to 22 years.

Several of them are already imprisoned, including in Belgium, for participating in other terrorist acts.

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