French Court Convicts 14 Accomplices of Islamist Terrorists Behind 2015 Massacres at Magazine, Kosher Market in Paris
The harrowing trial of 14 accomplices in the January 2015 Islamist terror attacks in Paris came to an end on Wednesday, with a series of prison sentences ranging from four to 30 years handed down by the court in the French capital.
The trial spanned the three days of terror that enveloped Paris between Jan. 7-9 2015. Twelve people were massacred at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by the brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, while a policewoman was murdered the following day by their comrade, Amedy Coulibaly. The next day, a heavily-armed Coulibaly seized the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in eastern Paris where he murdered four Jewish hostages. All three terrorists were killed in separate shoot-outs with French police.
Shortly after the verdicts were announced, Patrick Klugman — a lawyer representing relatives of the victims of the Hyper Cacher slaughter — posted on Twitter: “3 days of terror, many victims, 5 years of waiting, 4 months of trial … suffering, forgetting, other attacks, more deaths, and then, a feeling after being heard: justice, finally!”
3 jours de terreur, de nombreuses victimes, 5 ans d’attente, 4 mois de procès… de la souffrance, de l’oubli, d’autres attentats, d’autres morts, et finalement, un sentiment après avoir été entendu: justice, enfin! #Attentatsjanvier2015
— Patrick Klugman (@PKlugman) December 16, 2020
Among those sentenced on Wednesday was Hayat Boumeddiene, the former partner of Coulibaly and one of three defendants tried in absentia. Believed to be still alive and on the run from an international arrest warrant, prosecutors referred to her as an “Islamic State princess.”
The judges convicted Boumeddiene, 32, of financing terrorism and belonging to a criminal terrorist network, and sentenced her to 30 years in jail.
Another of the three accomplices tried in absentia, Ali Riza Polat — a 35-year-old French-Turkish friend of Coulibaly’s, whom prosecutors described as his “right-hand man” — was similarly sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Nezar Pastor — a close friend of Coulibaly whom judges remarked “shared his jihadist ideology” — separately received a sentence of 18 years.
In remarks to the court that accompanied sentencing, the presiding judge emphasized that radical Islamist beliefs were at the root of the attacks.
“The fact of choosing victims precisely because they were journalists, or a member of the security forces, or of Jewish faith, clearly demonstrates in itself their desire to sow terror in Western countries,” the judge said.