France opens historc trial over Paris attacks

France opens historc trial over Paris attacks
The suspects on trial in Paris were transported to court in a police convoy. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: France has opened a historic trial over the 2015 Paris attacks which left 130 people dead.

The bombing and shooting assault by Islamist State (IS) group extremists was the worst post-World War Two atrocity in France.

Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving attacker, is in court with 13 other defendants at a purpose-built facility in Paris.

The trial is being described as the biggest in the country’s modern history.

There will be over 140 days of hearings over the next nine months, involving about 1,800 survivors and relatives of victims and 330 lawyers.

About 300 witnesses will be heard in the Paris attacks trial, including French president at the time of the attacks François Hollande.

Mr Hollande told French media ahead of the trial that this was an important moment for the victims of the attacks, which he described as an “act of war” at the time.

Islamic State (IS) admitted carrying out the attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, a major stadium, bars and restaurents on 13 November 2015.

The suspects arrived at court on Wednesday morning in police vehicles under heavy security. They were seated together in the defendants’ box, wearing face masks, before the trial opened.

Philippe Duperron, a father who has lost his son Thomas in the Bataclan attack, said there were mixed feelings about the trial, not least impatience and anxiety.

He said: “It will be the occasion for all the victims to bear witness, so it will be a very painful moment, and bring back the pain again.”

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