A few days ago, 11 defense lawyers, including two from Salah Abdeslam, signed a long column in Le Monde in which they estimated, among other things, that “The trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks was not exemplary.” An opinion that is contrary to the opinion expressed by most observers and has raised – and continues to raise – positions in favor and opposition to this “operation”.
The signatories to the platform believe that “The judgment of June 29 contradicts the founding principles of our criminal legislation. Everything was played up front. The 10-month sessions served nothing of the first final decision A political decision before it is a judicial decision».
The arguments listed in the forum did not convince all those involved in the process, but allowed to launch a broader discussion on Shortcomings of counter-terror justice in France. In the camp of those who denounced, sometimes with malicious tone, the defense counsel tribune included, of course, the attorney for civil parties but also the Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation and Arthur Denovo. The latter, president of the Association of Victims of Life for Paris, regrets the fact that “Defense Makes Trial Process to Criticize Counter-Terrorism Justice”.
In the opposite camp, among those who agree with the defense attorney’s position, is the professor of criminal law who stated in an interview with Le Monde that he «The law was very absent from this processA very unfortunate thing.” Also in Le Monde, a lawyer from the Paris Bar, who was not at all involved in the trial of the November 13 attacks, noted that the debate that began was indispensable because “Defense rights are increasingly curtailed in such counter-terrorism trials. It is also the reason why no appeal has been lodged. But this refusal for a second trial should not be seen as unanimous acceptance of the ruling issued a month ago.” The lawyer says. In conclusion, he finds that “The trial of the 13 November 2015 attacks is evidence of shortcomings in counterterrorism justice. The proliferation of Islamist terrorist attacks has forced the judicial system to adapt. Or, the prevalent pre-emptive logic today is largely Contradicting the presumption of innocencecornerstone of the criminal process. The risk of miscarriage of justice is central to the fight against terrorism, and thus the defendant’s explanations are left at a secondary level to prioritize the suspicions gathered by the accusation. This paradigm shift significantly reduces the rights of the defense » Attorney Vincent Berngarth concludes his article in Le Monde.
Fierce sentence, slow death sentence
Returning to the defense attorney’s position, they raised several issues fundamental to understanding the debate. First of all, Salah Abdeslam was sentenced to life imprisonment without any possibility of reducing or commuting the sentence. fierce sentence, slow death sentence» The signatories denounced. It must be said that this harsh ruling, issued only 5 times so far in France, surprised many, including among the civil parties. This is how George Salins, who lost his daughter in the Bataclan Hall massacre, expressed himself “Reserves” With regard to this punishment he therefore rejects. An injured woman in the same theater declared herself “puzzled” when pronouncing the sentence. Finally, a well-known lawyer from the civil parties, on her part, estimated that “Terror, which denies all humanity, must be answered with a punishment that preserves a part of humanity. Limiting the hopes of the convict in this way is terrible in itself. A sentence of 30 years in prison would be cruel enough » Claire Goceran-Schmidt thinks so.
The second case raised by the defense attorney’s court is The principle of coercion and the only crime sceneOn the basis of which Salah Abd al-Salam can be sentenced to the maximum penalty. In fact, the main accused was convicted of a crime “Attempting to kill a person holding public authority”In this case the cops who were shot by the terrorists in the Bataclan hall. Or, Abdeslam was never around, he just left two kamisaks at the Stade de France before disappearing into nature. Taking into account, as requested by the Prosecutor’s Office in the indictment, that all the attacks that took place on that terrible evening – the Stade de France, the café terraces and the Bataclan hall – are one scene, then each of the terrorists of that time can be considered a co-author of all the attacks. or this is A very broad interpretation of the concept of coercionThe opinion of a number of specialists and lawyers, including the opinion of civil parties.
Finally, the third and final big censure that was given to the referee a month ago is an idea “Terrorist Association of Criminals” On the basis of which many defendants were convicted. Or that the concept is too vague and thus criticized in every terrorist trial. In current law, for example, sentences imposed on the basis of this accusation range from 1 to 18 years in prison. “A vague concept, therefore, could be a source of legal uncertainty” It is the opinion of a lawyer reported by Le Monde newspaper.