Salah Abdeslam is the sole survivor of the leadership group of Islamic terrorists who carried out the massacres in Paris in November of 2015, including the hideous carnage at the Bataclan café. His trial is finally over, and he has been sentenced to life without parole, as requested by the prosecution.
November 13 trial: Salah Abdeslam sentenced to life without parole
by Morgane Heuclin
June 29, 2022
This is the epilogue of almost ten months of trial, more than six years after the attacks of November 13, 2015. Salah Abdeslam, the sole survivor of the commandos, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Salah Abdeslam, the sole survivor of the November 13 2015 attack commandos, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. The special criminal court found him guilty of “murders as part of an organized gang in connection with a terrorist enterprise” on Wednesday evening. It is the heaviest sentence provided by the penal code, which makes any possibility of release minimal. The court thus followed the recommendations of the prosecution.
“The culpability of Salah Abdeslam as a co-perpetrator of the acts of murder in relation to a terrorist enterprise has been upheld insofar as the court has considered that the targets altogether should be recognized as one and the same scene of the crime,” stated the president of the court in beginning the announcement of the verdict. The court has concluded that the explosive belt that Salah Abdeslam “was wearing was not functional, which puts his declarations about backing out seriously in question.”
Sentences from two years to life without parole
All of the accused, with the exception of one, Farid Kharkhach, were found guilty on all the counts of the indictment. The other 19 defendants are sentenced to terms ranging from two years in prison for Farid Kharkhach to life without parole for the Clain brothers, presumed dead in Syria. Among them, the three who appeared in court free under judicial supervision, are not subject to an order of custody: That means that they will benefit from an adjustment of sentence.
In his final appearance before the court on Monday, Salah Abdeslam had again reiterated his “sincere” apologies to the victims. “I am not an assassin; I am not a killer,” he had stressed from the defendant’s dock. Salah Abdeslam’s defense attorney had recalled in his pleading that life without parole has been given only four times in France, against men recognized as “psychopaths” and sentenced for crimes committed against minors.
As for Mohamed Abrini, the childhood friend of Salah Abdeslam, he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 22 years to be served, as the prosecution asked for, found guilty of complicity in murders and attempted murders. He also spoke a lot during the hearings, acknowledging that he had been “scheduled for November 13,” before he backed out, for which he did not provide any explanations.
End of a very long trial
This is the epilogue of 149 days of hearings for the court, the survivors, and relatives of the victims of the November 13, 2015 attacks. Salah Abdeslam is the only one of the fourteen accused present before the court who took part in the commandos that raged through the outdoor cafes, the Bataclan, and the Stadium of France. Six other accused, of whom five are presumed dead, were sentenced in absentia. On June 10 the prosecution had requested sentences ranging from five years in prison to life for the twenty defendants.
These last defendants still have the possibility of appealing their sentences for ten days. As for nine other members of the kamikaze commandos, they died the evening of the attacks, killed while setting off their explosive belts or killed by police gunshots.
Previous posts about the trial of Salah Abdeslam: