PARIS – Landmark terrorist trial starts today

Starting today, fourteen people will be judged for two months in the trial of the deadly January 2015 terrorist attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers and the Hyper Cacher supermarket. The trial will be one of the very few trials to be filmed in France.

While the three main perpetrators of the attacks, Amedy Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers died after being gunned down by police, two are accused of “complicity in terrorist acts”. The others allegedly contributed to the terrorists’ logistical support, notably by providing weapons and vehicles and could face between 10 years in prison and life imprisonment.

Of the fourteen defendants, three, which include Hayat Boumeddiene, Mohamed Belhoucine and his brother Mehdi Belhoucine, will be absent from the trial as they went to Syria before the attacks. Most of the accused claim they were unaware of Amedy Coulibaly’s terrorist intentions.

As a reminder, the terrorists attacks which took place five years ago and took the lives of 17 people, including 12 at Charlie Hebdo’s editorial office, and injured 22, shook an entire nation that rallied behind the “Je suis Charlie” slogan.

To mark the start of the trial, Charlie Hebdo decided to republish the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that had unleashed a storm of anger and blasphemy charges across the Muslim world in 2006. The controversial drawings “belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased”, the satirical weekly said Tuesday.

“We’ll never go to bed. We will never give up,” said the newspaper’s publishing director, Riss.



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