Thursday, 17 December 2020
A Paris court has handed down sentences of four years to life for 14 people involved in the January 2015 attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The two brothers who carried out the attack itself, in which 12 members of the staff of the magazine were killed and 11 injured, were themselves killed in a shoot-out with police following a siege at an industrial estate two days later.
The trial in Paris that ended yesterday concerned 13 men and one woman who were accused of helping arrange and organise the attack, which was said to be revenge for the magazine’s frequent satirical treatment of Islam and especially the prophet Mohammed.
Three of those charged were tried in absentia: Mehdi Belhoucine was acquitted because he had already been convicted of the acts of which he was accused. Hayat Boumeddiene, the only woman on trial, is the wife of Amédy Coulibaly, who took part in the siege at a kosher supermarket while the two brothers were on the run, killing four Jewish hostages. She was sentenced to 30 years.
Also absent from the trial was Mohamed Belhoucine, found guilty of complicity in terrorist murder, who received a life sentence.
Of those who were present during the three-month trial, Ali Riza Polat was found to have aided and abetted the two brothers, and was sentenced to 30 years, with a recommendation that he serve at least two-thirds.
“Ali Riza Polat provided essential help in carrying out Amédy Coulibaly’s actions and had sufficient knowledge of his intentions. Coulibaly had carefully prepared his actions,” the court said.
Six of the 14 accused were convicted of criminal conspiracy, but had the aggravating circumstance of terrorism dropped from the charges. That included the two Belgian suspects, Metin Karasular and Michel Catino, sentenced respectively to 8 and 5 years in prison.
The Brussels Times