Trial of the November 13 attacks: victims or “unfortunate witnesses”?

The trial of the November 13 attacks is only on its second day, but we already have a feeling that we will have to get used to the “Abdeslam minute”. Thursday, September 9, she arrived in the middle of a legal debate on the admissibility of civil parties. The accused stands up and grabs his microphone: “Will the victims in Syria also be able to speak out?

– We are in another debate, there … “, observes President Jean-Louis Peries.

Salah Abdeslam continues his rambling harangue: “Wisdom dictates that a man is condemned after judging him, not before. We are presumed innocent. Even if I do not endorse your justice… There are also victims in Molenbeek [le quartier de Bruxelles dont il est originaire]. In Molenbeek, there is a lot of generosity… ” He cites the names of the three men who are accused of having helped him on his run and who appear free at the trial. “They didn’t know anything about what I did for a living… They didn’t do anything…” The president cuts his microphone, the legal debate resumes.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also On the first day of the trial of the November 13 attacks, the provocations of Salah Abdeslam

Today’s hearing promised to be tedious. It was a question of registering new requests for the constitution of civil parties. Parade of black dresses at the helm, litany of first names, names, places. On November 13, 2015, they were “In the Bataclan pit”, “On the terrace of La Belle Equipe”, “At the Carillon”, “In the rue Amelot”, “In Little Cambodia”, in front of ” Stade de France “. At the end of the day, a few hundred civil parties had joined the 1,800 already formed.

“Victims by ricochet”

For the majority of them, direct victims, the question of their admissibility does not arise. By concentric circles, it extends to relatives, “victims by ricochet”. Parents, children, brothers and sisters, companions and companions. But under the austerity of the tally this question as essential as it is delicate: how far can one consider oneself a victim?

The demands that lawyers present to the court thus include many aunts and uncles who, they say, were all ” very close “ of their nephew or their niece killed or wounded at the Bataclan or at one of the terraces of the restaurants targeted. Sisters-in-law who got along ” very well “ with this or that victim of the attacks. “I have in my file several moving photos of the reunited family”, indicates one of them. There are sometimes a lot of ricochets in lawyer files.

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