The trial of the mega-process, which has nearly 1,800 civil parties involved and 20 defendants, began at 1:17 pm (local time, 8:17 am EDT) at the imposing Palace of Justice in Paris.
Six of the accused will be tried in absentia, and 12 could be sentenced to life imprisonment. The process is treated as the “trial of the century” by the French press and is expected to take nine months.
The first relevant moment of the trial should start at the end of the month and last for five weeks., with the testimonies of survivors and relatives of victims. The defendants’ interrogation will only take place in 2022.
Present at the court, the Franco-Moroccan Salah Abdeslam, 31, is the only one of the ten terrorists alive and the main accused of the attacks of November 13, 2015.
Wearing a mask, Abdeslam sat in the dock surrounded by police officers. The security scheme was also tightened outside the court, due to the risk of a terrorist threat.
The concern of security forces after an attack was recorded during the 2020 trial of the terrorist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (see the video below).
Fourteen accomplices were convicted in the December attack, which left 12 dead and 11 injured in January 2015. The three terrorists were killed by police.
Two people are injured in attack near the former office of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ in Paris
Different terrorist groups simultaneously attacked the Stade de France, on the northern outskirts of Paris, six cafes and restaurants in the east of the capital and the Bataclan concert hall in 2015.
The bombings were the worst attack on Paris since World War II and left 130 dead and more than 350 injured.
First, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the football stadium, where a friendly game was taking place between the French and German teams. Among the thousands of fans present was the then French president, François Hollande.
Two other terrorists continued their action, killing a bus driver. In the central region of the city, two different groups shot at people who were in bars and restaurants and in Bataclan.
Claimed by Islamic state, the attacks took place as an international coalition was fighting the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq (and thousands of Syrians tried to reach Europe fleeing the war).
Four years of investigations allowed us to reconstruct a large part of the logistics of the attacks and the path of the terrorists: they entered Europe via a migration route from Syria and stayed in Belgium and near Paris.
Investigators also discovered a much larger terrorist cell, responsible for the attacks that left 32 people dead in the metro and at the Brussels airport on March 22, 2016, another violent attack at the time on the continent.