Trial of November 13: defendants, including Salah Abdeslam, refuse to appear at the hearing

The trial hearing for the attacks of November 13, 2015 resumed this Thursday, November 25, 2021. However, four defendants, including Salah Abdeslam, were missing.

This absence was explained at the start of the hearing by President Jean-Louis Périès who declared: “We can see that we are missing four defendants in the box. Mr. Krayem, Mr. Abdeslam, Mr. Ayari and Mr. Abrini who refused to go to the courtroom to protest the absence of the Belgian police. ”

Salah Abdeslam, the last survivor of the commandos which killed more than 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis, Mohamed Abrini, Sofien Ayari and Osama Krayem refused to appear before the Court in protest against the testimony by videoconference and under cover of anonymity of Belgian investigators.

“Salah Abdeslam played the hearing game”

For master Olivia Ronen, lawyer for Salah Abdeslam, the latter “played the hearing game. He understood the need to attend and participate. But today, he refuses to extract because there are things that we can hardly understand. ”

A refusal that is understandable by the absence and anonymity of witnesses. “If we notice that an Austrian investigator travels (Wednesday 24 November) and comes to testify for more than five hours, it is difficult to understand that a decision of your court allows Belgian investigators to testify anonymously and by videoconference “, She added to the president’s attention.

Several defense lawyers then took the floor to protest in turn. “The question has been decided”, exasperated the president, who suspended the hearing time to have the refusal of the four defendants recorded by a bailiff.

Two weeks of hearing of Belgian investigators

Belgian investigators must testify from this Thursday and for two weeks but will do so anonymously, the court decided after a request to this effect from the Belgian judicial authorities.

Indeed, in a letter, addressed to the court on November 15, the federal prosecutor of Belgium Frédéric Van Leeuw protested against the lack of anonymization of the Belgian investigators, presenting according to him “a real legal problem”. According to him, in the absence of anonymization of the latter, he could refuse to grant the request for hearing of the investigators.

Bernard Cazeneuve was heard on Wednesday by the special court of assizes in Paris.

The so-called November 13 trial opened on September 8 and is expected to end at the end of May 2022.

Leave a Comment