“A chapter of my life is closing”: at the trial of November 13, the survivors satisfied with the verdict

Gwaldys Laffitte and Marion Gauthier
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7:12 a.m., June 30, 2022

After ten months of trial and two and a half days of deliberation, the magistrates delivered their verdict this Wednesday evening at the trial of the November 13 attacks. The 20 defendants were all found guilty and the sentences range from two years in prison to irreducible life imprisonment.

Salah Abdeslam sentenced to life imprisonment

Salah Abdeslam is sentenced to life imprisonment, as required. The Court considers that he is a co-perpetrator of the attacks, in the same way as the nine members of the commandos who themselves died. Then, Mohamed Abrini, his childhood friend who gave up at the last moment, will serve a life sentence, with a 22-year security period during which he will not be able to apply for a sentence adjustment. He is considered an accomplice to the attacks.

The other people tried are also found guilty of complicity, but the sentences pronounced were more lenient than the requisitions.

“It’s a chapter of my life that is closing”

For the civil parties, this verdict is perceived as balanced, humane. In any case, that’s what Linda, a survivor of the Bataclan, thinks. “I am quite relieved. Overall, the indictment was followed by the Court. The sentences that were pronounced in some cases were lighter. I left this courtroom, I will leave this courthouse and I I’m not going to go back. It’s a chapter in my life that is closing,” she explains.

“I would blame them all my life”

Some defendants seemed overwhelmed, others on the contrary relieved, like Anaïk, another survivor of the Bataclan. For her, the incompressible life sentence pronounced against Salah Abdeslam is severe, but necessary. “My heart sank from the moment the judge started to pronounce the sentences. For Salah Abdeslam, I was waiting for incompressible life,” says the young woman. Anaïk is nevertheless pleased that the magistrates followed the indictments of the public prosecutor. “The indictment, I found it extremely fair. So yes, we expected no less from Justice, even if we can say that indeed, he did not kill anyone. He was part of the commandos, so the intention for me, it was there”.

The survivor compares this sentence to life, to “a white death”. But even today, she is angry with Salah Abdeslam, guilty, according to her, of having “broken up thousands of families. I am one of those who are still very angry. I would blame them all my life”, concludes Anaik.

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