November 13 trial: 'I didn't know I had to die,' defendant claims

Covid-19. The trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks has resumed after another week of interruption due to a second case of Covid-19 among the defendants. After Salah Abdeslam, it was indeed Ali el Haddad Asufi who had tested positive for the virus after presenting symptoms during the hearing on Friday January 14, the latest.

Debate. The lawyers have long questioned the admissibility of documents added to the file late, in particular "evidence of war" concerning Muhammad Usman and whose method of collection is debated. The question has divided, even among the lawyers for the civil parties. After more than an hour and a half of deliberation, the court finally decided that these exhibits would be properly examined. Inconsistencies. The court then heard at length Muhammad Usman, recruited to commit a suicide mission in Paris. He said he agreed to commit "a violent action out of revenge" after seeing videos of French bombings, but did not know it would be a suicide attack, contrary to what he had claimed during instruction. He refuted many of her previous statements and attempted to downplay her role.

Relive the live of this day of hearing.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

8:57 p.m. This live is now over. Thanks for following. You can find all of our articles on the trial on the dedicated page. See you tomorrow for a new live broadcast. 8:57 p.m. The hearing will resume tomorrow, at midday, with the interrogation of Mohamed Bakkali. 8:56 p.m. lawyers, Me Karim Laouafi, who familiarizes himself with his client. “Be more specific when you tell us about Obeida,” he asks her in a confidential tone. Usman responds longer this time, explains that the man has "turned his brain" by sending him religious songs in particular. 8:46 p.m. A pass of arms takes place between Me Ilyacine Maallaoui and President Jean-Louis Périès. Sofien Ayari's lawyer mentions that he has the impression that the classic practice of religion by the defendants is sometimes presented as suspicious or radical. The president interrupts him to tell him that he has never heard that, the lawyer raises his voice, the president asks him to calm down. It is the turn of Me Edward Huylebrouck, lawyer for Muhammad Usman, to get angry about the letter mentioned by Camille Hennetier that Usman would have sent to Salah Abdeslam. According to him it is a fact "mounted in mayonnaise". The president repeats several times that he does not have the letter in front of him, the question is evacuated. 8:31 p.m. Calm has returned. Me Seban, another lawyer for the civil parties, asks Muhammad Usman why he had never said until now that he had trained with the Kalashnikov. He explains that he did not know French laws and that he was afraid that there is "the death penalty". The lawyer now questions him about remarks made to investigators, and quoted earlier in the day, when he had described that a "pure" Islam was that where one "stones adulterous women and throws homosexuals into the void". "Is it still pure Islam for you?" "No, but at the time yes", concedes Usman. He didn't know he had to die. "It's hard to believe you sir, but you're the one saying it," sighs Me Seban. 8:21 p.m. There's an incident in the box. We hear Mohamed Abrini shouting: "Why was I not questioned about that during my interrogation!" and other sentences that do not reach us. "You want a contempt of court? We add that Mr. Abrini?" asks Jean-Louis Périès, in a loud voice, threatening him with expulsion. 8:16 p.m. The floor is given to the lawyers for the civil parties. A lawyer asks him about a term from the name of his madrassa, "hadith" and asks him to explain what it is. "It is the word of the prophet!" we hear from the box. "Wait who answered?" asks Jean-Louis Périès. It's Mohamed Abrini, who continues to speak without being heard. "It's good, at least someone answers ... Put your mask back on Mr. Abrini", asks the president. 8:03 p.m. She now evokes a surprised exchange between Mohamed Abrini and Muhammad Usman where the latter would have asked the first to "give courage to Salah Abdeslam" during a journey between their place of detention and the courthouse. "Do you have any comments to make?" Camille Hennetier asks the accused. “No observations”, he answers via the interpreter. 7:59 p.m. It is the turn of the public prosecutor to question Muhammad Usman. Advocate General Camille Hennetier refers to letters written by the accused to another accused, Salah Abdeslam. Muhammad Usman disputes, claims never to have sent mail to Salah Abdeslam. Tempers flare. The Advocate General brandishes the missive and responds to a defense lawyer whose words cannot be heard: "Say it's a fake!" "I've never seen this mail", gets angry Muhammad Usman in French. “However, he is under investigation,” retorts Camille Hennetier. 7:54 p.m. The bell rings, the hearing resumes. 7:28 p.m. The president specifies that after the interrogation of Muhammad Usman, a witness must still be heard. 7:27 p.m. The second assessor questions him on what he knew of France. He claims that at the time he did not know how to locate the country on the map and did not know its capital. "Why the France you didn't even know existed?" asks Xaviere Simeoni several times. "I have already answered you. Because France was bombing there. It was just for revenge." "Why then are you shocked when you learn of the attacks in Austria?" now asks Xaviere Simeoni, like President Jean-Louis Périès earlier. “As I told you, my vision has changed in Austria.” 7:20 p.m. The president announces a final question from the court before the suspension. Before Xaviere Simeoni takes the floor, a second interpreter takes over from the first.The interrogation of Muhammad Usman has lasted for more than two and a half hours. 7:10 p.m. "Where is the truth Mr Usman?" asks Frédérique Aline, reminding him that he has declared in the past that he knew that his mission would be to carry out a suicide attack. "I have already told you the truth in detail", Usman asserts in Urdu. that you explain to the court, since you handled a Kalashnikov for only two days, that you had no religious education, what guarantees did you give to be part of this commando? asks Frédérique Aline. "I don't know why they chose me," Usman repeats, shaking his head. of his katibat in Syria and which also included Ismaël Omar Mostefai, one of the Bataclan terrorists. The first assessor points out that this is "very far" from his statements according to which he would have stayed at home to read the Koran. "How do you explain it?" she asks. "I don't know this person", answers Muhammad Usman. The Indian fighter in question nevertheless indicated in interrogation that he considered Usman "like his brother". "How do you explain it?" asks Frédérique Aline again. “I don't know”, replies Muhammad Usman. 6:53 p.m. During his interrogations, he claimed to know these jihadist organizations, but today he says he does not know what they are. Frédérique Aline wonders about the real existence of Abou Obeida in the light of the elements mentioned earlier by the accused according to which an Islamist group was in contact with his madrassa and perhaps had an influence there. But Usman replies that the madrassa was only "to study". The assessor seeks to understand the actions of this Islamist group within this madrassa. According to Usman, it was "to help people". 6:40 p.m. "Why were you recruited" now tries the president. learn to shoot a Kalashnikov but repeats that he did not know what his mission was going to be or if he was going to have to use it. "What is the violent action you had to do?" asks the president again. Usman seems to be annoyed and answers in Urdu through his interpreter's voice: "As I told you before, I did the training but I did not know what I was going to do They told me they would explain to me on the spot." Jean-Louis Périès finally asks him if he knew he had to go to Belgium, but Usman replies that he did not know this country. The president has no more questions. 6:35 p.m. The president tries to understand why Haddadi and Usman continued their journey despite their arrest. Usman repeats that what Abu Ahmad had told him, that he had to "act in revenge", was "anchored" in his brain. And that it was only once in Austria, after learning about the attacks that he gave up. He then claims to have considered staying in Austria to work. "This attack changed my life, I didn't think it would happen like this." "Mr. Usman, the president gets annoyed. This suicide action committed by the two Iraqis is exactly the one for which you were recruited How can you say today that you were surprised by what happened on November 13? "I didn't think it would be such a big attack," Usman repeats. attack compared to a small attack? The number of dead, the number of wounded, the number of targets? asks the president. "Yes the number of deaths", answers Usman. The president hesitates before asking this question: "And up to what number of deaths would you have accepted?" "I did not know how it was going to be , which I was going to do”, repeats the accused. They will cross the border with Turkey with the help of smugglers who will take them to Izmir. After a night at the hotel, the four men will cross the Aegean Sea thanks to new smugglers. "And there, what happened?" asks the president "As soon as we arrived in Europe, I separated myself from the others. Even in the boat, I was not next to them. When we arrived, as I did not speak Arabic, they have set aside". The four men indeed arrived by the migrant route, in Greece, but Muhammad Usman and Adel Haddadi were detained because of their false passports. Haddadi and Usman will be detained for nearly a month in Kos,before being released and leaving for Austria, where Usman says he learned about the attacks in France. He says he was "shocked" to understand that Abu Ahmad had thought of him for these attacks and then abandoned his plan to go to France. "If I had known about this attack, I would never have left. I knew there would be an attack but I did not think it would be of this magnitude," he said. ensures not to have crossed any in Syria, in spite of the insistence of the president. 5:59 p.m. asks the president "I did not know how we were going to take the revenge. It was a violent action but just for revenge", he answers in French, explaining that this is why he accepted the mission. "C "is a new version that you are presenting to us today, notes Jean-Louis Périès. How did you see this revenge if it was not a suicide action?" "As I have already told you, I did not know how it was going to happen, answers Muhammad Usman in Urdu. I did not know if I was going to do it alone or with them (...), I did not speak with them..." 5:55 p.m. 5:55 p.m. In Raqqah, Muhammad Usman meets a certain Abu Ahmad, since identified as Osama Atar, the mastermind of the attacks. Usman, confronted with his photo, nevertheless did not recognize him and explains today that he met him masked. Questioned by the president, Usman confirms that Abu Ahmad asks him to go to France. "To do what ?" asks Jean-Louis Périès several times. "To do an act of violence", replies in French Usman, looking at the president. He now denies having known that it was a suicide action. “So what was the violence action?” asks the president. Usman explains, by the voice of his interpreter, that Abu Ahmad showed him videos of atrocities, in particular on children, caused, according to him, by the bombardments. were French planes?" "There were flags. It was he (Abou Ahmad) who told me it was the French flag. When I saw that, I made up my mind." 5:47 p.m. In Fallujah, he says he stayed at home or was at the mosque only. "Mr. Haddadi said that there had been religious training..." the president pointed out to him. "I don't know about Haddadi," replies the accused who specifies that this is also what he did in the following weeks: stay at home or go to the mosque. "Wait, you travel thousands of kilometers to join the sham, to do jihad, and there arrive there and you do nothing? the president gets annoyed. You are brought from Pakistan just to read the Koran for weeks, I don't quite understand!" "I was doing what they asked me to do," Usman replies through the voice of his interpreter. "You said you fought," the president points out. "No, it's wrong, I didn't say that," Usman replies in French. , in Fallujah, I fought for a month", he recites. Usman disputes. "These are your words sir, at one point, you have to be logical, you are recruited where there are fights to fight and you say you have read the Koran. Were you fed there? They fed you for nothing to do?""When I arrived in Raqqah, they gave me a mission", replies Usman. "Well, we won't know more about Fallujah for the moment...", retorts the president. in Syria. Daesh fighters would have recovered it from information from Abu Obeida. "They asked me for my phone, name...", he continues in Urdu, translated by the interpreter: "But I didn't have my papers on me. They checked everything but they only took my phone." He says he spent "two-three days" in a village near the border that he cannot name and that he was then sent to Iraq, to ​​Fallujah, a choice made by the fighters but which he accepted. "I had offered to stay in Syria but they said no, you're going to Iraq," he explains in hesitant French. 5:30 p.m. We are now studying his trip. He first joined Iran by boat before crossing the country by car. He remembers going through Tehran and Maku. He would then have crossed the border on foot before taking buses to Istanbul and then Gaziantep. The president again points out to him the geographical inconsistencies of such a journey which involves crossing Turkey twice "without papers" since he says he has lost them. "It was the smugglers' journey", assures Usman who says that it was Obeida who had organized his trip. “Hum, yeah,” replies the president. 5:26 p.m. Usman claims it was his uncle who gave him the money,that Abou Obeida had offered to finance his trip but that he had refused, telling him that he had money. "Well, I don't think I read that in the file..." notes the president without lingering. 5:21 p.m. had it taken over my brain, I don't know," Usman replies noncommittally. The president insists, wants to know if this man knew his relatives, if he had ties with him beforehand. Why did he have so much influence on him, how could he radicalize him "without you having to say anything"? But Usman persists on the same line, it was this man who came finding him on the internet that made his brain spin, telling him that as a good Muslim, he had to go for the 'sham.'" There was nothing else to do in Afghanistan, in Pakistan at the time? " asks the president, causing laughter. 5:14 p.m. The president insists on contradictory details of the file. His departure date for Syria, if he saw "exactions" in real life or only on video. But Usman, head down, hands behind his back, remains on his positions: he did not leave for Syria before 5:09 p.m. The president now asks him when he left Pakistan, and Usman replies evasively, in French, that it was in 2015. But the president wants to know the "It was in summer," replies the accused, laconic. "Yes, then, summer in Pakistan..." begins the president, who specifies that according to his information it would rather be spring 2015. Why is he gone to Syria? Through his interpreter, Usman again evokes the influence of Abu Obeida to answer: "All Muslims have a duty to come here, Islamic law is applied here", he would have told him. said he then asked for "proof" that there was "true Islam" His contact would then have sent him a video containing in particular anasheeds (propaganda songs). The president returns to the chilling remarks made by Usman during the investigation: "For adultery, the sanction was stoning. Homosexuals, we take them up to the sixth floor and we throw them into the void. I found all the purity of original Islam there." "Was all that in the videos?" asks the president. "Yes," confirms Usman, who says he's "grown up" since then. "At the time, I was young, my brain was not functioning normally," he said. I've never been part of this group," Usman says, pinching his FFP2 mask. He concedes all the same to have been in contact with. Why then did he disappear from his home for years? To study, Usman replies through his interpreter. The president points out to him that according to the file, he disappeared "eleven or twelve years" and that he would have been given jihadist training. "No, that's not true," replies Usman, who asks how the court got the information that "it was common knowledge" that he was a Taliban. The president replies that 'It comes from the Pakistani police, as part of mutual assistance. "No, that's not true," repeats the accused after waiting for the end of the translation from his interpreter. 4:53 p.m. When did he become interested in the Islamic State? Muhammad Usman says, in Urdu, that when he finished his studies at the madrassa and started looking for a job, he met someone "on the internet". "Abou Obeida?" asks the president "Yes exact", answers Usman in French. This name appears in the file as being the contact of Usman who explained to him the way to go to Syria. According to Usman, it is also this man who gave him gave information and provided documentation on jihad. 4:48 pm We first examine his religious background. An interpreter translates the questions to him in Urdu, and Usman answers in French tinged with a slight accent. He confirms that he studied in a madrassa for almost six years and that he could read the Koran in classical Arabic. We come back to a question already raised during his personality interrogation in November: does Muhammad Usman understand Arabic? He said he could read the Koran but "not necessarily understand what is written." "What does that mean?" asks the president. To answer, Usman this time goes through the voice of his interpreter, explains that he has learned "a little" to decipher the Koran.

November 13 Trial:

This Pakistani, whose age remains uncertain, is on trial for “criminal terrorist association” and faces twenty years in prison. Like the Algerian Adel Haddadi, he admitted having been sent to Syria to carry out a suicide attack in France, but both had been confused by their false passports once they arrived on the island of Leros.

During his interrogations, many elements had been deemed implausible by the investigators or contradicted the statements of Adel Haddadi. He had notably declared that he had not fought in Syria. The court therefore hopes to shed light on the reality of his journey.

4:43 p.m. The president asks Muhammad Usman to stand up, his interrogation will begin. 4:41 p.m. President Jean-Louis Périès reads the decision taken by the court: he points out that no opposition was raised when the documents were added to the file today disputed today and that their examination during the adversarial debate does not presuppose their final restraint to make a decision. The request to remove six documents from the file is therefore rejected. 4:35 p.m. The bell rings, the hearing resumes. 4:08 p.m. Initially today, the interrogation of the accused Muhammad Usman was to take place, followed by the hearing of Raphaële Cade, head of the Radicalization Assessment Unit (QER) at Fleury-Mérogis, a remand center where he is detained. At the time, the question of its admissibility had not been raised. Find the article by our journalist Pierrick Baudais on this moment of hearing: Trial of 13-November. Arrested after the attacks, what were these two defendants to do? 3:44 p.m.

Why are fourteen defendants present out of twenty?

Six of the twenty defendants were not present at the hearing: Ahmad Alkhald, Oussama Atar, Ahmed Dahmani, Fabien Clain, Jean-Michel Clain and Obeida Aref Dibo.

Ahmed Dahmani, close to Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini, is imprisoned in Turkey, where he fled the day after the attacks. It is the only one whose whereabouts are known for sure.

The others are still wanted or presumed dead in the Iraqi-Syrian areas, such as the Clain brothers. But in the absence of certainty, they are also judged. 3:35 p.m. The courtroom fills up again, the defendants are present in the box. It has been nearly an hour since the court retired to deliberate. 2:46 p.m. The hearing is suspended while the court deliberates on the matter. 2:39 p.m. The floor is on the defense. Me Ilyacine Maalaoui, one of Sofien Ayari's lawyers, takes the floor to appeal to the "vigilance of the court". Me Olivia Ronen, lawyer for Salah Abdeslam then asks for "respect for our principles, especially in the area of ​​terrorism". Several other defense lawyers join in the request for the rejection of these documents from the proceedings. 2:28 p.m. by the DGSI concerning more than 500 individuals. A "colossal" work which, according to her, explains the delays in adding these documents to the file. they had already been collected and used, in particular that concerning the terrorist Tyler Vilus, a French jihadist tried and sentenced in the summer of 2020. 2:21 p.m. "We need these elements from the battlefield because they have made it possible to understand the functioning of the Islamic State", she insists. She specifies that these pieces, collected by soldiers in buildings where the men of Daesh lived on the grounds of war, are then "sorted, labelled, analyzed and put available to the members of the coalition and accessible by the DGSI" which is then responsible for analyzing them. 2:17 p.m. Regarding the evidence of war, they claim that it does not come from Intelligence activities. "These are material elements collected under specific conditions and which are not classified," she explains. It sweeps away the defense arguments that this evidence was collected fraudulently and should have been collected by an OPJ. "This is false and that would be tantamount to saying that war zones are zones of impunity. This would condemn any possibility of prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity, terrorist crimes." 'a letter seized in Muhammad Usman's cell and which sheds light on the radicalism of the accused should have been added to the file in 2019, but explains that it followed an administrative process and that it was added late but in a manner 2:06 p.m. The floor is given to Advocate General Camille Hennetier who specifies the sources of the contested documents and defends their admissibility. “These are completely ordinary and full-fledged proofs, she explains, citing the codes of criminal procedure concerning them. Subject of course to a contradictory debate, they are completely valid.” 2:01 p.m. The debate continues . Another lawyer for the civil parties is surprised at the late date on which these contested documents were added to the file and wonders: "Is all shots allowed in a terrorism trial? Allow me to answer 1:57 p.m. 1:56 p.m. 1:53 p.m. Another civil party lawyer expresses his disagreement, feeling caught in a "conflict of loyalty" by the position of his colleagues. "My clients did not ask for these coins to be discarded." The lawyer raises his voice to assert his wish for a "detailed debate on each piece, on each element of the file", arguing that it is this examination which will elevate the debate and not the outright rejection of the doubted exhibits."To already remove the exhibits submitted in September is to deprive the civil parties, victims of these horrible acts, of an elucidation and clarification of everything that would not have been in accordance with our law", he solemnly declares before returning the microphone. Another lawyer for the civil parties takes the floor to go in her direction, regretting the cleavage among the lawyers for the civil parties and evoking a jurisdiction that is evolving in terms of terrorism. "That we are rebelling because memos are used, I'm surprised!"1:44 p.m. A lawyer for the civil parties takes the floor. She and several sisters stand up to show their support with the defense on the request for the rejection of these parts of the instruction. "We want a fair trial," she said. Regarding the proof of war, "we are faced with a supposed assembly of the Islamic State accompanied by two reports from the DGSI which does not provide any details, she indicates.We do not want this trial to be the place for the establishment of derogatory criminal law because it is an extraordinary trial. 1:37 p.m. 1:34 p.m. also "must be preventive". "It is not the role of Prison Intelligence to collect information on an accused awaiting trial", he insists. He reads a note which evokes "the state of spirit" of the defendants. "Psychological expertise is old-fashioned", mocks the lawyer. Writings in Arabic were also seized in the cell of Muhammad Usman during a search. "The search has limits, the protection of business personal. It is still an irregular collection of evidence in this file", he affirms. 1:28 p.m. causes the "reliability" of the video provided, in particular because of erroneous geographical indications. A video whose value could be crucial in the debates since Muhammad Usman disputes having fought in Syria. admissibility of six documents which come from Intelligence on his client. These include a propaganda video in Syria where Muhammad Usman would appear and which would have been released too late according to Mr. Edward Huylebrouck. According to him, Intelligence cannot "infringe " on the judiciary, "cannot conduct a counter-investigation", he insists. 1:11 p.m. President Jean-Louis Périès indicates that the accused Ali el Haddad Asufi is able to attend the proceedings. The bell rings, the hearing resumes.

1:07 p.m. Most of the accused and the gendarmes who supervise them in the box now wear FFP2 masks, unlike previous weeks of debate. This was a repeated request from several defense lawyers. 1:01 p.m.

The humanity of the defendants in question

Thursday, January 13, the defense of Osama Krayem brought to the bar a teacher who gave the accused French and mathematics lessons for more than four years in prison. “Leaving aside the horrible things he has done, you can say that he is someone who has a lot of humanity,” he said, raising a delicate question there. What part of humanity remains in some of the accused? The decryption of our journalist Pierrick Baudais: Trial of the November 13 attacks: which human beings remain the accused? 12:50 p.m. President Jean-Louis Périès confirms that Osama Krayem refuses always to appear. He therefore suspends the hearing immediately, the time to give him the usual summons. 12:49 p.m. It is Muhammad Usman, a Pakistani suspected of having been recruited to carry out a suicide mission in France, who will be heard first on his journey from Pakistan to Syria. Tomorrow, it is Mohamed Bakkali who must be heard at his round. This Belgian-Moroccan, supposed logistician of the terrorist cell, is one of the accused who did not go to Syria. The man described as “very radicalized” would have had an active role in the preparation of the attacks from Belgium. Finally, on Friday, it is Mohammed Amri, a faithful friend of the Abdeslam brothers, who will be heard. The man who came to pick up Salah Abdeslam in Paris the day after the attacks would also have played a role in the logistics of the attacks. Many witnesses will also be called to the stand during the week. 12:49 p.m. The bell rings, the hearing resumes. most of the accused have taken their places in the box. Some, like Yassine Atar or Mohamed Abrini, talk to their lawyers. Osama Krayem still seems absent. 12:37 p.m.

12:34 p.m.A disrupted schedule

The hearing schedule has been reviewed and corrected accordingly by President Jean-Louis Périès. The interrogation of Salah Abdeslam, which was originally scheduled to take place on January 13 and 14, has been set for February 9 and 10. The statement of the verdict, scheduled for May 25 and 26, has been rescheduled for June 7 to 9.

12:30 p.m.

Expected recovery after a new case of Covid

The hearing is due to resume today after another week of interruption due to a second case of Covid-19 among the defendants. After Salah Abdeslam, it was Ali el Haddad Asufi who tested positive for the virus ten days ago, after presenting symptoms at the hearing on Friday January 14, the latest.11:53 a.m.

My name is Mélissa Boufigi and we will follow this new day of hearings together.

11:52 a.m.

Hello and welcome to this live broadcast dedicated to the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015.

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