The main suspect Salah Abdeslam was found guilty on terrorism and murder charges.
- The coordinated gun-and-bomb attack killed 130 people.
- The assailants targeted the Bataclan music hall, six bars, restaurants and the perimeter of the Stade de France stadium.
- The main suspect in the trial was found guilty on terrorism and murder charges.
A French court on Wednesday handed down guilty verdicts for all 20 men tried for the 2015 killing of 130 people in a coordinated gun-and-bomb rampage by Islamist gunmen in Paris.
The Bataclan music hall, six bars and restaurants and the perimeter of the Stade de France sports stadium were targeted in hours-long attacks across the French capital that shook France and left deep scars on the country’s psyche.
Main suspect Salah Abdeslam was found guilty on terrorism and murder charges, judge Jean-Louis Peries said.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of early release, a sentence handed out only four times previously in France.
Believed to be the only surviving member of the group that carried out the attacks on 13 November 2015, the 32-year old Belgium-born Frenchman proudly said at the start of the trial that he was a “soldier” of Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Abdeslam had said during the trial that he had chosen at the last minute not to detonate his explosive vest. But, based on the investigations and hearings, the court ruled otherwise.
“The court considered that the explosive vest malfunctioned,” Peries said. Salah Abdeslam is “guilty of being a member of a terrorist network,” he also said.
“All defendants are found guilty on all counts,” he added, with the exception of terrorism charges for one of the less prominent accused.
It has been a trial like no others, not only for its exceptional length of 10 months, but also for the time it devoted to allowing victims to testify in detail about their ordeal and their struggles in overcoming it, while families of those killed spoke of how hard it was to move on.
Thirteen other people, 10 of whom are also in custody, were also in the courtroom during the months-long hearings, accused of crimes ranging from helping provide the attackers with weapons or cars to planning to take part in the attack. Six more were tried in absentia.
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