This Wednesday, the trial of the January 2015 attacks opened before the special assize court.



  • From this Wednesday, 14 people are tried by the special assize court, suspected of having provided aid to the terrorists.

    Three of them are nevertheless judged by default.

  • The trial is scheduled to last until November 10.

  • The defendants face sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. 

Jeanne had checked the date in her calendar for several weeks.

"My father is a

Charlie Hebdo


, I grew up with this newspaper and I remember the immense shock I felt when I learned of the attack, it seemed natural to me to come today", confides this 27-year-old Parisian.

Like her, they were several dozen this Wednesday morning to wait in front of the Paris judicial court to attend the opening of the trial of the January 2015 attacks. Those of Charlie Hebdo, but also of the assassination of the municipal policewoman Clarissa Jean- Philippe and the Hyper Cacher at the Porte de Vincennes.

17 lives snatched in three days by the Kouachi brothers and Amédy Coulibaly, dozens of others deeply upset.

"We are still in the dark"

A sign of the exceptional aspect of this trial, an extraordinary security system has been put in place.

Since Tuesday evening, dozens of police trucks have flanked the high glass tower of the Porte de Clichy, cars and bicycles have no other choice but to largely bypass the area, access to the hall. audience but also to the three other rooms in which the debates are broadcast is filtered by countless identity checks, the bags are searched and re-searched, the journalists - more than 90 media, including 29 foreigners, are accredited - subjected to the detectors of metals.

“I hope these two and a half months will help us understand, we are still in the dark.

Why us, why did they target us?

», Breaths Lassana Bathily, arriving in front of the courtroom.

The former employee of the Hyper Cacher who hid many customers in the cold room of the store does not hide his wish to see the accused strongly condemned.

These eleven men (three accused are on the run), aged 30 to 68, are suspected of having provided logistical support to the terrorists, in particular by providing them with weapons or vehicles.

Only one of them, Ali Riza Polat, shaved head, mask on his nose and gray shirt, is dismissed for complicity in crimes, presented as the right arm of Amédy Coulibaly.

The debate on masks takes place in the Assize Court

But while the debates have not yet started - the day was devoted to the appeal of the parties and to the reading of the file - a question is already emerging: is the compulsory wearing of a mask compatible with the rights of the defense?

"Are you going to judge a man whose face you can't see?"

“Asks Me Beryl Brown, lawyer for Michel Catino.

The president, Régis de Jorna, himself recognized, “it's a problem”, and promised to discuss it with the first president of the court of appeal and the president of the bar.

Because in a trial, the unspoken words, the tears or the smiles, are sometimes as “meaningful” as the statements themselves.

Taken together, these elements allow the court to identify the accused and their state of mind but also to capture the emotions of the victims or their relatives.

For the civil parties, this debate nevertheless seems far removed from their concerns.

Behind the masks, we can guess the closed faces and the tears that flow as the president and his assessor retrace the chronology of the attacks.

Some preferred to leave, others on the contrary seem to have made it their duty to stay until the end.

"All I'm waiting for is justice," confides, moved, the emergency physician Patrick Pelloux, former contributor to

Charlie Hebd


The end of the week is devoted to the examination of the personality of the accused then the court will give the floor to the civil parties for three weeks.

From September 28, she will focus on the progress of the investigation and the following week on the responsibility of the 14 accused.

The pleadings of the 65 civil party lawyers will begin on October 27, followed by the indictment on November 2 and defense pleadings the following day.

The verdict is expected on December 10.


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