Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam sentenced to life in prison without parole
Abdeslam, 32, was found guilty of all five counts he was charged with. He is just the fifth person in France sentenced to life without parole since it was legalized in 1994.
Though Abdeslam was one of 20 people on trial, he was the sole defendant accused of physically carrying out the deadliest attacks that France has ever seen in peacetime.
The other suspects were charged with lesser crimes, such as helping to provide the attackers with weapons or cars. Six were tried in absentia.
Of the accused, 19 were found guilty on all counts, while one — Farid Kharkhach — was convicted of just two of the charges he faced. The other 13 defendants in the courtroom received prison terms ranging from 2 years to 30 years for their crimes.
Abdeslam didn’t appear to react to his sentence. Kharkhach, who received the lightest sentence, cried after hearing his verdict.
The verdicts are a culmination of a lengthy trial which began on September 8, 2021 and involved more than 330 lawyers and approximately 1,800 civil parties, according to the French Justice Ministry. The proceedings took place in a purpose-built courtroom inside the the Palais de Justice in central Paris.
He says he chose not to detonate his explosive vest, and on the final day of hearings in the case urged the court not to give him a harsh sentence: “I made mistakes, it’s true, but I’m not a murderer, I’m not a killer,” he said.
Many of the survivors and the families of those who died are hoping to move on with their lives following the lengthy court case.
Life for Paris, the main organization for survivors and victims’ families announced on Tuesday that the organization will begin to wind down, eventually closing on November 13, 2025, the ten-year anniversary of the attacks.
“(The dissolution) is also for us to return to a certain form of normalcy, at our own free will, far from public attention,” the group said in a statement.
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