The office of the Paris prosecutor requested a life sentence without the possibility of parole Friday for Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the trial of the November 2015 terror attacks that killed 130 people.
The National Anti-Terrorism Office (PNAT) requested the sentence after deliberations that lasted nine months and it came six and a half years after Nov. 13 night during which a series of unexpected attacks unfolded throughout the city, starting with suicide bombers at the Stade de France, shootings at various cafes around Paris and a mass shooting at the Bataclan nightclub where 90 people were killed.
The carnage was finally brought to an end in a police shootout.
“The crime is of such gravity that the sanction can only be in line with this gravity,” said
the trial’s chief lawyer, Camille Hennetier, as she requested the sentence along with an “incompressible security period” for Abdeslam, who is the only perpetrator to have survived the attack.
He was arrested in Belgium after five months on the run.
Hennetier requested a life sentence for accomplice Mohamed Abrini — who is said to have driven Abdeslam to Paris — along with a security period of 22 years.
Life sentences are rarely carried out to their completion in France as most prisoners who receive the penalty are released in 20 to 25 years. Life sentences have been handed down just four times in France since being initiated in 1994.
Two life sentences were given to two high-ranking members of the Daesh/ISIS terror group thought to have been killed in Syria or Iraq.
Sixteen other defendants stood trial and were handed sentences from five to 16 years. Fourteen of the accused men are in court, with all but one of the six absent men thought to be dead.
The trial has taken place in a newly-built, high-security complex installed inside the Palais de Justice, France’s main courthouse in Paris.
An additional 12 overflow rooms were built to handle journalist, victims and their lawyers.
The defense will make its case in front of the court starting Monday and final words from the defendants is set for June 27.
A verdict will be delivered June 29.
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