France: trial for Charlie Hebdo attack opens in Paris

14 on trial for complicity, logistical support

02 September, 16:47

    PARIS - The trial for the January 2015 terror attacks against the newsroom of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and supermarket Hyper Cacher opened on Wednesday morning at a special court in Paris. During three days of terror over five years ago in the French capital and its surroundings, the brothers Kouachi and Amédy Coulibaly carried out the attacks that killed 17 people. The attackers were killed by police special units and the gendarmerie. Now 14 defendants are on trial. They are suspected of different levels of complicity and of providing logistical support to the authors of the attacks that were part of an unprecedented wave of terrorism in the country. The trial, which is taking place under strict security measures, is scheduled to last until November 10.

    Several survivors of the attacks, including journalists and former staff members of Charlie Hebdo, attended the hearing. The satirical magazine has republished the blasphemous cartoon with a caricature of Mohamed, which sparked the fury of Islamic fundamentalists, ahead of the trial. The defendants were in glass cages surrounded by police officers whose faces were covered with balaclavas. ''We must not be scared - said the lawyer of Charlie Hebdo, Richard Malka - neither of terrorism nor of freedom. The spirit of Charlie Hebdo is to refuse to renounce to our freedoms, to laugh or be blasphemous''. Along with the 14 defendants, Hayat Boumedienne, the partner of Coulibaly who converted to Islam and fled to Syria, is being tried in absentia along with the Belhoucine brothers who also disappeared before the attacks and were last reported at the border between Iraq and Syria.

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