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France: Justice for terror victims

by Matthias

Twenty defendants have been convicted by a Paris court in France’s biggest terrorism trial. Salah Abdeslam, the sole survivor of the group that carried out coordinated attacks in Paris in 2015, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, the harshest penalty possible under French law.

Of the other defendants, 18 were convicted of various terrorism-related offences and one of a lesser offence of fraud. Some were sentenced to life imprisonment, while others were released after serving a prison term.

Survivors and relatives of the victims walked out of the courthouse after an agonising nine-month trial. They wanted justice to bring them closure to the traumatic experiences of seven years ago.

“The different verdicts show that they were judged individually, and that is how it should be.

Catherine Orsenne, victim of the Stade de France attack

The important thing is that we had a good trial, I would say very good in terms of the content, in terms of justice as well as the possibility for everyone to express themselves.

Jose Munoz, lost his son

We shouldn’t exaggerate, we shouldn’t ask for more, because the verdict is according to law, and that’s good.

Thierry, survivor of the Bataclan attack

It will take a few weeks before I am stable enough to return to normal life.

Bruno Poncet, Bataclan survivor“

The 2015 attacks on bars, restaurants, the football stadium and the Bataclan music venue killed 130 people and injured hundreds more. It was the worst attack in France since World War II

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