Federal Prosecutor Kathleen Grosjean on Monday requested 20-year prison terms for Salah Abdeslam and Sofien Ayari, accused of attempted terror attacks on police officials on the 15th of March 2016 in Forest. She also called for the prison term to be followed by a 13-year probation and for the two suspects to be stripped of their civil and political rights.
The prosecution argued that both men should be considered joint perpetrators of the attacks, even if one of them did not fire on the police because there were only two rifles in the apartment they occupied.
The three men had divided up the tasks between them; they decided jointly on a plan of attack, leaving a wounded Belkaid behind to better resist the police officials, Prosecutor Grosjean stressed. “They were perfectly aware that they were going to commit attacks,” she argued. Armed with a weapon and a mobile phone, the two others left Belkaid, but “all three were ready to die”.
Grosjean stated further that the attacks took place in a densely populated area and described the fact that there were no victims as a “miracle”.
She also recalled the context in which the attacks occurred, coming a few months after the Paris attacks, and described it as traumatizing.
The trial has attracted a great deal of media attention. Hundreds of accredited journalists took a long time to enter the courthouse on Monday morning because of the particularly tight security measures put in place there by the police.