Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

Paris terror attack suspects to face trial

Europe’s most wanted man Salah Abdeslam and 13 others to face prosecutors

The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 claimed the lives of 130 people. AFP / Anthony DORFMANN
The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 claimed the lives of 130 people. AFP / Anthony DORFMANN

The 14 key suspected ISIS terrorists allegedly involved in the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people are due to stand trial in the French capital.

Belgium’s National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) revealed on Friday that it is seeking a trial against 20 people involved in the attacks in the French capital.

The attacks began on November 13, 2015, when a suicide bomber blew himself up after failing to get into the Stade de France stadium where the then French president, François Hollande, was among 80,000 people watching a France-Germany football match.

It was then followed by a drive-by shooting and suicide bombings in bars and restaurants across the city culminating in an attack at the Bataclan theatre during a rock concert where 89 people were killed.

The trial will involve 14 suspects. Arrests warrants are presently out for a further six people.

Of the 14 people due to face trial, 11 are in pre-trial detention and three others are under judicial supervision, the Pnat said in a statement.

The trial will also involve one of the alleged masterminds behind the attacks, Salah Abdeslam, who was named Europe’s most wanted man following the atrocity.

Abdeslam is the only surviving suspected perpetrator of the attacks which killed 130 people and injured hundreds of others. Seven of the terrorists were killed at the scene.

He was arrested in March 2016 during a shout-out with officers following a terror raid in the infamous Molenbeek district of Brussels, known for being a hotbed for Islamic extremists.

Prosecutors have submitted court documents requesting for him to be tried for murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and terror offences.

The prosecutor’s office also wants the leader of the Brussels-based ISIS terror cell that planned the attacks in Paris and in Brussels in March 2016, Osama Atar, to face trial for “leading a terrorist organisation”.

Intelligence services believe Atar is dead following reports he was killed in Syria in 2017.

It is though he will be tried in his absence.

The Pnat has also requested the extradition of alleged members of an ISIS terror cell, Sofien Ayari, Osama Krayem, Mohamed Abrini, Mohamed Bakkal, to be brought to Paris to stand trial.

A 562-page court document was signed on November 21 and was sent out to more than 1,740 civil parties on Thursday.

The trial is scheduled for 2021 in Paris and is expected to take six months.

Updated: November 29, 2019 05:31 PM

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