Seven years after the terrorist attack in the Bataclan nightclub in Paris, French judges found 19 men guilty. The main suspect and last survivor, Salah Abdeslam, is convicted of murder.

After the terrorist attacks on the French capital Paris, French judges have now passed their verdict: 19 of the 20 accused were found guilty on all counts. Salah Abdeslam, probably the sole survivor of the terrorist squad and the main defendant, was convicted of murder and terrorism. He faces France’s maximum sentence: life imprisonment without parole. He should not be given the opportunity to reduce his sentence before the end of 30 years.

On November 13, 2015, Paris was rocked by multiple terrorist attacks. The extremists carried out a massacre in the Bataclan concert hall and spread terror in Parisian street cafes. Three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Stade de France during an international football match between Germany and France. 130 people died in what was probably the deadliest attack in the history of France. 350 others were injured by the extremists. The terrorist organization Islamic State (IS) later claimed responsibility for the attacks. That same evening, an assassin was shot dead by the police. Others died as a result of police operations in the days that followed.

Maximum sentence for the main accused

At the beginning of the trial, 32-year-old Abdeslam described himself as a fighter for the Islamic State. The public prosecutor’s office had demanded the maximum sentence for the main accused. His statement that he had not detonated his explosive belt “out of humanity” had not convinced the prosecutor.

Abdeslam has already been sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium. So far he has been in prison in France under special conditions. Six of the other 19 accused were tried in absentia. Another accused is imprisoned in Turkey. Five are said to have died in Syria.

Sluggish negotiations

The process, which lasted more than 140 days, was followed far beyond France. Several weeks at the beginning of the trial were devoted to testimonies from survivors and those left behind, in which the horror night was described hundreds of times in personal fates. Again and again, meetings were canceled or canceled because the accused had contracted the corona virus or did not want to appear in court.

In addition to the question of individual guilt, it was also about the structures in the background. However, the accused left a lot in vague here. Abdeslam, for example, only answered a few questions and shied away from responsibility. In his final speech, he called it an injustice if he were convicted of murder.