Suspects in French terror attacks to go on trial

14 alleged accomplices 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo weekly and Hyper Cacher supermarket go on trial next Wednesday.

Ben Ariel ,

Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo
Reuters

14 alleged accomplices in the 2015 jihadist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket go on trial next Wednesday, AFP reports.

The attacks heralded a wave of jihadist violence that has left 258 people dead and raised unsettling questions about France's ability to preserve security and harmony for a multicultural society.

12 people, including some of France's most celebrated cartoonists, were killed on Jan 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi went on a gun rampage at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

The Kouachi brothers were shot dead by police two days after the attack in front of a printing factory in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, outside Paris.

A day later, Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of the Kouachi brothers, killed a policewoman outside Paris and four people during a hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket. He too was killed in shootouts with police.

While the three perpetrators are dead, suspects accused of providing them with various degrees of logistical support will finally face justice.

The trial had been delayed several months due to the coronavirus epidemic. The court in Paris will sit until November 10 and, in a first for a terror trial, proceedings will be filmed for archival purposes given public interest.

Of the 14 suspects, three are being tried in absentia: Hayat Boumedienne, the partner of Coulibaly, and the Belhoucine brothers Mohamed and Mehdi.

All three are believed to have travelled to the area of northern Syria and Iraq that at the time was under Islamic State (ISIS) control.

Reports have suggested they are dead but this has never been confirmed and they remain subject to arrest warrants.

Since the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by ISIS, the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

The country has been under a heightened alert in recent years in the wake of the attacks.



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