Justice The November 13 trial, out of the ordinary and at high risk

TERRORISM From September 8, the Paris Court of Appeal will host the trial of the Bataclan, Parisian terraces and Stade de France attacks

In the room built especially for the occasion, all that is missing is a scale. Symbol of peaceful justice. Symbol that will witness what some already call “the trial of the century.” Almost six years after the attacks
terrorists, the trial
the attacks of November 13, 2015 are due to start on Wednesday September 8 in the grounds of the Paris Court of Appeal, on the Ile de la Cité. It took two full years to organize this hearing. Here is why this trial will be extraordinary …

Fifteen meters wide. Seventy-five long. It is a 750 m² room that was built within the walls of the historic courthouse in Paris to accommodate this trial. Brand new wooden benches next to a glass box designed to accommodate the fifteen accused, solidly supervised by the police.

A total of 550 people will be seated in the courtroom. What about the others? Fifteen rooms were monopolized to broadcast the debates on video continuously. With, in the main room, dominating the audience, a real control room intended to ensure the capture of the debates… “It is a pharaonic project, difficult to implement from a technical point of view, which will be able to accommodate others. trial ”, had explained
Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Minister of Justice, by visiting the premises on January 19. However, this room, the cost of which is estimated at 7 million euros, should not remain. After a few years and undoubtedly a few trials – including that of
the Nice attack (Alpes-Maritimes) – it is scheduled to be dismantled.

There will be a lot of people… The figures are not yet final. But we already know that nearly 300 lawyers will be parties to this trial to defend the accused and represent the victims. As of this date, nearly 1,800 civil parties intend to attend the proceedings, or at least some of them. Some 800 other people have the right to become a civil party until the end of the proceedings. Not to mention the many journalists accredited for the occasion. A real headache for the holding of the trial …

At first glance, the organization had counted on 30 minutes of testimony per victim. Honestly, most will speak less, others will speak more, thinks Arthur Dénouveaux, president of the association Life for Paris. But it’s already been 150 hours of auditions … “

Even before the hearing began, the presiding judge saw that it would be too fair. Originally scheduled to last 131 days, the trial has already been extended to run for nine months. The verdict is expected on May 25, 2022.

But will this schedule be kept? Since France has never known this type of trial, the president of the special assize court is moving into the unknown. The first two days will be devoted to calling civil parties and witnesses. The third day will see the president read the summary report, an exercise that is often long and tedious but necessary, as provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The November 13 trial has just been extended by one month. End now scheduled for May 25, 2022. The trial will therefore encroach on the Presidential and legislative elections.

It’s only then that the real fun begins. The hearings of the civil parties should take between five and six weeks, between the end of September and the end of October. The interrogations of the accused are not expected to take place before November 2.

How not to think about it? With so many people expected and such a strong emotional charge in the midst of the 2022 presidential campaign,
the authorities believe that this trial poses a high risk of an attack threat. “The police headquarters and the Ministry of Justice have been working for many months” so that this trial takes place in the “most serene possible” atmosphere, explained, the director general of internal security, Nicolas Lerner, on 6 last july.

Thus, a large security perimeter should be put in place to “bunkerize” the courthouse on Île de la Cité, some accesses to which may be closed. A real logistical headache, as the appeals court will continue to host other trials and deal with other cases in parallel.


06/08/21 | TERRORISM

05/06/21 | INTERVIEW




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