“These are heavy sentences that are requested, in total disproportion”, reacts the lawyer of Mohamed Abrini

At the trial of the attacks of November 13, which claimed 130 victims in Paris and Saint-Denis, the three general attorneys made their submissions on Friday June 10 before the special assize court in Paris, a trial that began last September. Sentences ranging from five years in prison to irreducible life were requested by the national anti-terrorist prosecution (Pnat) against the 20 defendants.

>> Trial of the November 13 attacks: justice demands heavy sentences against Salah Abdeslam and his co-defendants, who “fed the beast” of terrorism

The heaviest sentences concern in particular Salah Abdeslam, irreducible life imprisonment, and Mohamed Abrini. Life with a 22-year security sentence was requested against the Belgian Mohammad Abrini, nicknamed “the man in the hat of the Brussels attacks. “These are heavy sentences that are requested, sentences that are in total disproportion to what we can experience in Belgium”reacts on franceinfo Stanislas Eskenazi, lawyer for Mohamed Abrini.

franceinfo: Life with a 22-year security sentence was requested against your client, what is your reaction?

I must recognize that the Advocates General have a surgical indictment, perfectly substantiated and which also allows us to challenge it. These are heavy sentences that are requested, sentences that are totally disproportionate to what we can experience in Belgium. If you allow me the unfortunate expression, “that’s the game”. Now, it is up to Maître Violleau and myself to come up with arguments to try to convince the Court not to follow the indictment. I remind you that Mr Abrini, unlike Mr Abdeslam, gave up a day earlier.

“The problem is also the message that we intend to pass on to the next one. If the message is that when you give up, you take “life” and you take 22 years of security, at the key moment perhaps it will take action.”

Master Stanislas Eskenazi

at franceinfo

There are questions that arise and they will have to be raised before the Court.

The Advocates General had harsh remarks towards your client: “one step forward, two steps back”, a victim speech, inaccuracies also during his hearings. Did this lead to these requisitions?

The prosecution plays its role and only takes up what goes against my client. It is up to us to show that there are things that go in favor of my client. I am not surprised, but we are always shocked when we hear requisitions for life imprisonment, it is the heaviest sentence that exists in our legal system. The task was heavy from the start, it will remain so when the defense speaks.

Salah Abdeslam saw him request life imprisonment with an incompressible security period. Could it have been worse for your client?

What finally separates us is eight years, compared to a situation where there is a person who gives up a day before and another who drops people off on a terrace. We simply wanted to mark this difference in a rather artificial way by eight years less in safety. Life imprisonment implies that we will have to pass before bodies, which will have to decide at some point whether or not we have made our salutary path in order to be able to get out. In both cases the future is uncertain.

“Twenty-two years of safety means that we cannot go out for twenty-two years, nothing says that we can afterwards.”

Master Stanislas Eskenazi

at franceinfo

Your client is nicknamed “the man in the hat”, is he paying for his role in the attacks of 2016?

That’s the impression it gave me. In the indictment, what he is accused of is ultimately to return to a cell, this question will be asked before the courts of Brussels. We decided to artificially split the two series of attacks, and this is something that I have been denouncing since 2016. The proof is, in the sentences that are requested, we take into account the sequence of events. It is pure logic but the sequence of events, it is in Brussels, by choice of the federal prosecutors and those of the Republic.

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