• On the 42nd day of the trial of the November 13 attacks, François Hollande will be heard at length as a witness on Wednesday.

  • Quoted at the request of the association of victims, the association Life for Paris, his arrival is not unanimous, especially within the defense.

  • He will probably be heard at length on the political and military context of these attacks.

“We do not understand very well what this witness could bring to the manifestation of the truth. "On September 10, while the specially composed Assize Court proceeds to the traditional call of witnesses - a very tedious exercise in a trial of the magnitude of that of the attacks of November 13 - suddenly, a name attracts attention. . “Hollande François. On the benches of the defense, the annoyance is palpable, in particular with Me Raphaël Kempf, one of the lawyers of Yassine Atar, tried for criminal terrorist association. "Perhaps the civil party could enlighten us so that we can prepare the hearing of this individual ...", comments the lawyer.

The former President of the Republic, heard this Wednesday afternoon, was quoted by the association of victims Life for Paris.

"He was at least at one of the scene of the attacks, the Stade de France, he will be able to provide information on a number of themes," said one of their lawyers.

That evening, the Head of State was attending the football match between France and Germany when the first detonation, the starting point of this fateful evening, rang out in front of one of the stadium's doors.

Evacuated, he immediately went to the crisis cell of the Ministry of the Interior, from where he notably gave the green light for an armed assault on the Bataclan.

Omnipresence since the opening of the trial

Not enough to satisfy Me Christian Saint-Palais, Yassine Atar's second lawyer, who recalls that according to Article 331 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, “witnesses testify only, either on the charges against the accused, or on his personality and morality ”. However, in this case, François Hollande's testimony will probably fit more into the political and military context of the time. Could such a drama have been avoided? Has the terrorist threat been underestimated? His testimony could also make it possible to answer the questions raised by certain civil parties, in particular the choice made to go to the Bataclan while the help is still on the job.

François Hollande's speech on Wednesday is all the more expected as for two months, his shadow has been hanging over the hearings. A week after the opening of the trial, Salah Abdeslam, when questioned about his position by the president of the Assize Court, justified the terrorist attack by questioning the foreign policy of the previous government. “We targeted the population, civilians, but there was nothing personal about them. We targeted France and nothing else, ”he told the court, before specifying:“ François Hollande said that we fought France because of its values, but that's a lie. But when he made the decision to attack Daesh, he knew very well that his decision involved risks […]. He knew that French men and women were going to meet death. "

The previous Hidalgo

Words that echo the testimonies of many victims of the Bataclan: at the helm, many said that their executioners had claimed responsibility for their acts in the name of François Hollande's foreign policy.

Comments confirmed by the broadcast of a sound recording of the attack.

"You can only blame your president François Hollande, it is he who involved you in this massacre", "you have your president Hollande, thank him", "the hour of revenge has sounded" , shout the terrorists to their hostages.

The investigations have, in fact, highlighted that the preparations for the attacks began at the end of 2014, well before the French intervention in Syria: it was not until mid-September 2015 that the former head of state deemed "necessary" the French strikes against the Islamic State.

It also remains to be seen what reception will be given to François Hollande.

Last year, during the trial of the January 2015 attacks, the quote from Anne Hidalgo caused a stir, both on the benches of the defense and civil parties.

On the day of his hearing, defense lawyers had left the room.

There is little chance that such a scene will happen again on Wednesday, but under what conditions will his testimony be made?

All eyes will be on Salah Abdeslam who, since the opening of the trial, has already distinguished himself by several impromptu speeches.


Attacks of November 13: Should we broadcast the images of the killings?

The case of conscience of the Assize Court


Trial of the November 13 attacks: Out of his silence, will Salah Abdeslam go beyond the claim?

  • Bataclan

  • Terrorist attacks in Paris

  • Trial

  • Francois Hollande

  • Justice

  • Attacks of November 13

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