PARIS — Marilyn Garnier, a survivor of a terrorist attack in concert hall Bataclan in Paris, can die evening never forgotten.
It was November 13, 2015. There were explosions of fireworks at the back of public. Her partner pushed her to the floorwhere they lay still, overcome by the smell of blood and gunpowder. eruptions of gunfire interrupted by a dead silence.
“At that point, you don’t think you’re going to survive,” recalls Ms. Garnier, now 30.
Almost six years later, the historic trial of the die behind the attacks of 2015 die also directed and area outside France’s national football stadium and the terraces of cafes and restaurants in the center of Paris began on Wednesday in the French capital. It is expected that last An record nine months.
Nine of the ten attackers were killed. most worn out suicide bombings as part of the attack of were killed by police, including: in a shooting a few days later when the authorities invaded a shelterout north of Paris.
Twenty men, including the lone surviving attacker and others who be accused of assisting in planning and coordinating the attack will be tried by a panel of judges. More than 300 lawyers and nearly 1,800 claimants will participate in the process in a courtroom die 550 . can fit people that was built specifically for the monumental process. The procedure will first be accessible for plaintiffs on An live internet radio, and will also be filmed.
“It’s the test of all superlatives,” Éric Dupond-Moretti, France’s justice ministersaid this week in the courthouse on the Île de la Cité, an island on the river Seine die is partially closed down by the police for the duration of the process. “The longest trial in U.S history.”
As the November 2015 attacks saw the nation unite in mourning, it also deep fears imprinted of terrorism. They came months later deadly shootings at a kosher supermarket and at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, and deep wounds in French society die is not yet complete heal. Unresolved discussions continue over the place of Islam in France, immigration, and the balance between security and civil liberties.
François Hollande, the socialist president of France at the time told Le Parisien that’s time in office, “of I like the of not, bears the spurs of what happened on November 13, and, more over in general, of Islamist terrorism.”
“Every time one new terrorist attack happens, it pours me in back in die dark night,” said Mr. Hollande, who will testify at the trial, a first for An former president.
For some survivors a slamming door of An car hitting back may be all it takes.
Mrs. Garnier escaped unharmed from the Bataclan after bursting through an emergency exit. But she wants to see the accused in person and want the world to understand what victims have been through: the exhausting hypervigilance, the endless medical procedures, the administrative obstacle course to… compensation by France’s official victim fund, the isolation from friends and family, the broken careers.
“To measure the real influence that this event had on our lives,” said Mrs. Garnier. “So that they really realize that six years later it is still very, very close.”
Stephanie Zarev, 48, who used to be also in the Bataclan die night, said that… for For years she was plagued by panic attacks and flashbacks. She avoided watching the attacks of to read about it.
“But now,” she said, “I… need until know.”
She hopes that the tens of researchers, officials and experts die are expected to testify, will help understand her how the attacks came. Her fear is that the process, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and coinciding with The 2022 French presidential election will be used to score politics points.
“In France, before and after November 13, 2015, just like in the United States was one before and after September 11,” said Georges Fenech, a former legislator who led a parliamentary inquiry into the 2015 attacks Which found shortcomings of the French security services.
In both cases “we were the victims” of new forms of terrorist threats die formerly unknown, and that challenged everyone of our strategies,” he said, recognizing that France, that passed a raft of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism bills in had put in recent years in place a lot of of the recommendations of the study.
The men accused in the process, who are usually in their 20s and 30s, face An range of charges, including complicity with murder and hostage-taking, as well as organizing a terrorist conspiracy. Most face sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors say a lot of the accused men helped the November 13 attackers by renting shelters to store weapons and explosives, expel members of the cell over beyond the borders of to secure cash and false documents. Fourteen will attend the trial in person after being mainly arrested in France and Belgium, while six others who are still wanted for arrest will be tried in absence.
being different presumably murdered by western air strikes against territory that ISIS used to control in Iraq and Syria — including Oussama Atari, a Belgian-Moroccan who researchers suspect: of the brain behind the attacks, and Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain, two French jihadists who included the group’s claim of responsibility for the murders.
Xavier Nogueras, a lawyer for one of the accused, said the length and scope of the test was “dizziness”. But the fact that there are so many people concerned required that we take our time,” he said. “It will also give us An global understanding of what happened.”
Only Salah Abdeslam, who prosecutors say is the only surviving member of the group that wore out the murders on the night of November 13, state directly accused of murder, tried murder and hostage taking.
Mr Abdeslam, a French citizen of Moroccan descent who lived in Belgium, played a key role in the attack, prosecutors say, but didn’t detonate his explosive vest. Investigators think it was defective and he fled in the hours die followed, leading to a months-long manhunt.
Mr Abdeslam, who arrived at the courthouse on Wednesday under a tight police escort, has uncooperative with detectives. during a trial in 2018 in Belgium, where he was convicted of shooting at cops in Brussels while on the run, he barely said a word.
Nevertheless, Plaintiffs like Fabienne Kirchheim, whose brother Jean-Jacques Kirchheim, 44, was killed in the Bataclan, hope so justice is served.
“Due to these attacks, the values of the Republic came under fire’ said Mrs Kirchheim. “Now I expect that same Republic to judge and punish, in a fair and democratic way, die attackers.”
But others have mixed feelings over the spotlight. Karena Garnier, another Bataclan survivor, dreaded the trial and had no intention of doing so of become a claimant.
The attention on the process felt”like an enormous invasion of privacy of this tragic event that happened to me,” said Ms. Garnier, 45, a US resident of France. But after talking with others in a victim group to which she belongs, she said she changed her mind, even if the trial won’t erase years of therapy, nerve-racking anxiety of to attack of work-disruptive brain fog.
“It is truly just to get some closure,” she said. “And to be there for my friends.”
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