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Already described as historic, the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015 begins Wednesday, September 8, for a tragedy that left 130 dead and 350 wounded. An exceptional security system is put in place during the nine months of proceedings, as well as a courtroom specially created for this extraordinary trial, which will judge 20 people, including 6 absent because they are believed to be dead.
While the terrorist threat is still high in France, the holding of this trial is considered a risky event. Around 1,800 civil parties, 330 lawyers and magistrates, but also 20 defendants, 14 of whom will be present in the heart of Paris. Without forgetting the 141 accredited media. No flaw should therefore exist.
While most of the system is of course kept secret, a very important security perimeter will be set up all around the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité, with no less than two platforms completely closed to car and pedestrian traffic. .
Access to the palace will be differentiated: one entrance for civil parties and professionals, another on the opposite, for the general public. Each time, with police checks and extensive searches. The objective is also to interfere as little as possible with the Court of Appeal, whose offices are still on the Island.
In addition to securing the surroundings of the Palais de Justice, escorts of convoys of the accused from their place of detention to the courtroom, twice a day, will be under very close surveillance, with the mobilization of police officers from elite, like those of the RAID.
In view of the trauma caused by this horror evening and the number of victims, the trial can already be described as extraordinary. But it will also be done by the means made available to the courts.
The figures of the various players in this trial convinced the Ministry of Justice to build a dedicated courtroom in the Palais de Justice.
It is the room “of the great trials”: 700 square meters … which will not be enough, in spite of everything, to accommodate all the actors of this judicial meeting. The hearings will therefore be broadcast permanently in two other rooms. And during key moments, 10 additional rooms can be made available to civil parties and journalists. The Assize Court will then be able to reach a capacity of 2,000 people.
And because all the civil parties will not be able or will not be able to attend all the hearings, they will have access to a secure web radio, created for them. The debates will be broadcast there with a half-hour delay, in the event of an incident. This is a first in France.
In addition, 10 cameras will film the entire trial, images that will join the historical archives of justice. This will be the 13th trial filmed in France, the last being that of the perpetrators of the January 2015 attacks.