On January 9, 2015, Zarie worked as a cashier at the Hyper Cacher at Porte de Vincennes.

That day, she was held hostage by Amedy Coulibaly for more than four hours.

While the special Assize Court of Paris must hear this Monday as part of the trial of the attacks, the young woman confided in the microphone of Europe 1.


The trial of the January 2015 attacks continues before the Special Assize Court in Paris.

For several days from this Monday, the magistrates will hear the testimonies of the victims of the hostage-taking of the Hyper Cacher at the Porte de Vincennes.

At the end of four hours of nightmare, three customers and an employee of the sign had been killed by Amedy Coulibaly, before the latter was shot during an assault by the forces of the RAID and the BRI.

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More than five years after the incident, only a small number of the store's former hostages will appear in court to testify on Monday.

"For me, it is a duty", explains Zarie at the microphone of Europe 1. "I have to tell what happened so that justice is done".

Former cashier of Hyper Cacher, 22 years old at the time, she remains deeply marked by these events.

"What happened that day is part of my life and it's not something you can forget."

While she describes "noises" and "smells" that have "subsided a little over time," her memory of the events has remained intact, "as if it had happened yesterday".

"I can never forget."

Amedy Coulibaly's first shots

For Europe 1, Zarie unfolds the chronology of this winter afternoon, a film that she has already replayed many times in her head.

With a slightly trembling voice, Zarie recounts Amedy Coulibaly's first shots which fatally wounded Yohan Cohen, a store employee, aged only 20.

"He suffered for quite a while. Watching him suffer was one of the most difficult things for me during the hostage-taking."

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Talking to someone and seeing them dead next door two seconds later is very, very hard

She also remembers his desperate attempts to dissuade François-Michel Saada from entering the store.

As she obeys the hostage taker's orders and lowers the metal curtain, the 64-year-old retiree insists on doing some shopping, unaware that a terrorist attack is starting.

He realizes his mistake too late, turns back but is also shot twice in the back.

"Talking to someone and seeing him dead next door two seconds later is very, very hard. I feel very guilty (…) I did what I could, but maybe it didn't. was not enough. Maybe I should have closed the iron curtain and the door faster… And like that, he couldn't have come in. "

Return trips in the basement of the store

Subsequently, Amedy Coulibaly addresses the young woman several times directly.

Threatening a hostage with his pistol, he forces her to fetch the customers who have taken refuge in the cold room in the basement of the store.

"He said to me: 'you have ten seconds to go get the people who have taken refuge downstairs', so I came downstairs shaking."

She will make the round trip several times: "Everyone said to me: 'No, we are not going up, we are afraid, we do not want to die'."

Among the few people who agree to leave their hiding place, Yoav Hattab, 21, tries to seize one of the hostage taker's weapons, abandoned on a cardboard box, but fails to neutralize it.

He pays for it with his life.


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"I was sure I would die that day," Zarie continues.

"I was just wondering when. By the way, I was praying that it was just a bullet to the head. That I didn't suffer for long."

After that, the terrorist multiplies the threats.

To hold the hostages in check, he goes so far as to show off his arsenal.

He opens a sports bag in which he gathers knives, guns and explosives.

Amedy Coulibaly also asks for information on his hostages: age, name, nationality and ... religion.

An element which tends to confirm the anti-Semitic nature of the attack.

"He wanted to kill us because we were Jews and French," Zarie said.

"He was after us."

Living with the memory of the attack

"At 22, I had never really thought about death at that age. So when it happened, I admit that it was a huge shock," blows the young woman.

While five years have passed since the attacks, she says she has increased visits to psychologists and psychiatrists.

And evokes the "will" which was necessary for him "to get better", a work of every moment to live with this memory.

"I was lucky to survive (...) I received life a second time as a gift", she concludes.