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“A relief that it’s over”, for the Charlie Hebdo lawyer

The appeal trial of attacks against “Charlie Hebdo” and the Hyper Cacher ended with the sentencing to life imprisonment of the main defendant Ali Riza Polat.

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At the end of the appeal trial of the January 2015 attacks, Charlie Hebdo lawyer Richard Malka told franceinfo that he was relieved to see this “judicial page that turns”.

Thursday, October 20, two defendants who challenged their conviction at first instance had their sentences modified: Ali Riza Polat was sentenced to life imprisonment for “complicity” in crimes committed by the brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly in January 2015. At first instance, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Amar Ramdani was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment “for criminal terrorist association”. At first instance, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“It’s a judicial page that turnsanalyzes Richard Malka, the lawyer for Charlie Hebdo. It was extremely trying, painful. These are bubbles of intensity for six weeks where you don’t think about anything else. You don’t do anything else. The judicial page is turned, but there are wounds that life is not long enough to heal. We have to live with it and we must not let ourselves be drowned by these injuries and that’s what we have to do today.”

Richard Malka does not see justice as a restorative act: “I don’t believe at all in what they say, because it helps the work of mourning. I think it’s a necessity. Justice has to pass, for society. And she has it summer. But does it help to live better for the families, for the victims? I don’t see it like that, in any case.”

The satirical newspaper’s lawyer also insisted on recalling the importance of appeals: “An assize court was at the bottom of the facts for six weeks, assessed everything in a contradictory way. It is the honor of our justice to do so.” The verdict pronounced this Thursday evening puts an end to a judicial chapter, eight years after these attacks which had left 17 dead and bereaved France in January 2015.

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