Trial of November 13: Abdeslam’s medical second opinion ordered, hearing postponed

The trial of the November 13 attacks was again postponed due to the request for a medical second opinion from Salah Abdeslam, still positive for Covid-19.

The trial of the November 13 attacks, which had been suspended Tuesday due to the state of health of Salah Abdeslam, was again postponed until January 11, pending a medical second opinion from the main accused , still positive for Covid-19.

The specially composed assize court of Paris decided on Thursday to grant a request for a medical second opinion demanded by the lawyers of Salah Abdeslam, who had been declared “fit” to appear by a first doctor, a request to which is made are partners of defense lawyers and civil parties.

After three hours of suspension, the president ordered this new expertise to determine if Salah Abdeslam was “fit” to appear and indicate “any sanitary measures” necessary.

He also asked “for any useful clarification on the contagiousness of an unvaccinated inmate still positive after the 10-day isolation period”. The report is due on Monday, and the hearing will resume Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., he finally announced.

The 32-year-old Frenchman, the only surviving member of the jihadist commandos who killed 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13, 2015, was present in the box for the first time since November 25.

Salah Abdeslam had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 27, during the 15-day suspension of the hearing. The trial resumed briefly on Tuesday, before being immediately suspended, the main accused still being placed in solitary confinement after his positive test.

Positive for Covid “at a very low level”

Two medical expertises have confirmed in recent days that he was now able to attend the hearings. This, “subject to a negative test”, however specified the first expertise, dated Monday.

The second, dated Wednesday, indicated that Salah Abdeslam was positive for Covid “to a very low level” and that “his state of health allows him (was) to appear at the hearing”.

“Forty-eight hours apart, the expert says everything and its opposite. This discredits him from a medical and scientific point of view,” one of Salah Abdeslam’s lawyers was carried away at the hearing. Me Martin Vettes, asking for a further postponement of the hearing time to carry out a second opinion.

Many lawyers, on the benches of the defense and the civil parties, joined this request, claiming that the negative PCR test is “a compass”, in particular to avoid contaminations “in cascade” in the box where the defendants are. sitting within a meter of each other.

At the end of nearly four months of hearings marked by the hearings of survivors of the attacks and their relatives, the trial was due to enter a new phase this week, that of the interrogation on the merits of the case of the 14 defendants present (six others, therefore five presumed dead, are tried in their absence).

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