Reims lawyer Gérard Chemla hopes for “very heavy” sentences

Last day of indictment at the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, this Friday, before the Special Assize Court of Paris. 130 people died that evening in Paris and Saint-Denis, including a Marnais, Manuel Dias, who was near the Stade de France. 300 lawyers are taking part in this extraordinary trial. Among them, the Rémois Gérard Chemla, he was the guest of France Bleu Champagne Ardenne this Friday morning.

A lawyer at the Reims bar, he salutes the “great job of putting things into perspective” of the three representatives of the Pnat, the national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office, who, since this Wednesday, detail the role of each of the twenty defendants. “It was long, complex, technical, precise. A necessary action”, underlines Gérard Chemla, who is now waiting for the sentences to be demanded by the prosecution.

“I hope they will be very heavy because in a case like this, there can be no decreasing scale. And the penalties are the culmination of a process. We are not not here for revenge”, insists the lawyer.

The victims who came to testify all said: “We don’t want martyrs, we want justice”. – Gérard Chemla, Reims lawyer

Gérard Chemla adds that his clients “don’t imagine” that the penalties do not go up to life imprisonment.

“The most terrible attack that France could have known”

“How do you expect us to find extenuating circumstances for those who came with explosive vests or Kalashnikovs to kill, be killed and who sent us the message: “my life does not matter and yours no more” ?”, launches the lawyer, who insists on the fact that the 13-November represents “the most terrible attack that France could have known.”

This trial was difficult for the victims, moving also for the lawyer from Reims, particularly marked by the testimonies of the victims. “I remember an 18-year-old young woman explaining to us how she learns that her mother is not coming home, how, in an instant, she becomes the mother of her little brother. How she curls up against him, the evening, saying “maybe it’s not true, we’ll see tomorrow.” And clearly, it’s an image and it’s a sound, which will never leave me.

After nine months of trial, victims fear a “fear of emptiness”, what Maître Gérard Chemla understands. “Of course, we enter a tunnel. Last September, life stops around us and every day, we are on the trial. When we are not there, we think about it, we talk about it , we dream about it. All of a sudden, we know it’s going to stop. We’re not going to see people again and it’s obvious that he’s going to have a feeling of depression “, says the lawyer. A void that he “will have to furnish and replace”, concludes Gérard Chemla.

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