Published on :
At the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, the floor is always with the defense. This Wednesday, it was the lawyers of the Pakistani Muhammad Usman and the Algerian Adel Haddadi who appeared at the bar. Two men arrested in Austria while trying to reach France to commit attacks there. The national anti-terrorist prosecution has requested 20 years in prison against them, the maximum sentence. Record of hearing.
From our special correspondent at the Paris courthouse,
For the public prosecutor, they are the ” prevented » of November 13, delayed on the way because their ignorance of Syria or the accent with which they spoke Arabic did not fit with their fake Syrian passports which they presented to the Greek customs officers. But for the Advocates General, things are very clear: “ They should have died in Paris and Saint-Denis on the evening of November 13, 2015, killing people. It was their mission and they never sought to deviate from it. Their lawyers did not seek to deny that their clients had left Raqqa in the summer of 2015 with the idea of carrying out attacks in France: the two men admitted it.
On the other hand, they are indignant that the prosecution in its indictment expressed its intimate conviction that they had, like the other suicide bombers of November 13, participated in macabre stagings of the execution of prisoners before their departure from Syria. ” Lawyers become men of faith », denounces Me Edward Huylebrouck for muhammad usman. ” There is no proof. On a million pages of the file, there is not an element, not a photo, not a video, which goes in the direction of this hypothesis “, Adds Me Simon Clémenceau for Adel Haddadi. “ I therefore suggest that you purely and simply dismiss it. »
” Predictive justice » for defense
Once this question has been evacuated, the five defense lawyers will focus their defense on two points: the link with the November 13 terrorist cell and the personality of the accused. Because for the defense, it is a question here of judging a crime without victims. ” Muhammad Usman is a stowaway in this lawsuit “, insists Me Huylebrouck. “ From November 13, he is neither co-author, nor accomplice, nor logistician, nor artificer, nor landlord, nor renter, nor forger. He would be a midshipman, the prosecution tells us. Except, he argues, that the date and the targets of the attacks were only decided a few days before the attacks, as evidenced by the famous files found in a computer in the cell after the attacks in Brussels. And at that time, Muhammad Usman and Adel Haddadi were 1,250 kilometers away, on the Balkan route, drowned in the mass of refugees still trying to reach Germany.
If the criminal course of the two men is undeniable, their project has nothing determined. At the time of their arrest, the only material element was a fake Syrian passport. ” It takes a lot more to commit an attack : we have never attacked anyone with a false passport “, insists Me Huylebrouck. The 2,500 civil parties constituted in this trial, “ with all due respect, are not Mr. Usman’s victims. » « Nothing is inevitable when Adel Haddadi is arrested and he could have withdrawn at any time », Insists in turn Me Léa Dordilly, deploring a preventive justice which « abandons acting out as a penal element of reference. But the prosecution goes even further by asking for the maximum sentence, it asks you to apply predictive justice “, in the name of the seriousness of facts which were therefore not committed.
►Also read: November 13: alleged perpetrators and accomplices of the attacks
” A critical look at what he was »
The lawyers also insisted on the personality of their clients. Muhammad Usman attended Koranic schools in Pakistan. ” We contacted his school, but they did not respond. We would have liked to see their school program, but we suspect that it is not Darwin “, ironically Me Karim Laouafi. ” Muhammad Usman is not a son of the West, someone who had the chance to grow up with the values of freedom and humanism. You have to take it into account. And to talk about the changes made in six years. ” He is someone who today is aware of his flaws, takes a critical look at what he was and even what he is. »
Adel Haddadi’s defense also wants to see in him a changed man, underlining his eagerness to collaborate from the first of his arrest. ” It was he who first identified Osama Atar on a photo, the sponsor, the mastermind of these attacks “recalls Me Simon Clémenceau. “ While at this stage, Osama Atar did not appear anywhere in the investigations “. “ It is an act of breaking with the Islamic State, with what you will condemn it for “, insists the lawyer. “ The lack of interest of the prosecution for the personality of Mr. Haddadi, I understand. He has the right concludes Mr. Dordilly. “ But not you she said, addressing the President and the Court. ” I’m not begging you for a flexible sentence, I know he’s not going out tonight. “Me Karim Laouafi also appeals to the measure and a lighter sentence:” You didn’t want an extraordinary trial, I’m just asking you for the ordinary application of our ordinary rules. »
►Also read: November 13 trial: the “contradictions” of Adel Haddadi and Muhammad Usman