France Starts Trial of Suspects in 2015 Massive Terrorist Attacks

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A special criminal court in Paris will start its largest trial ever, arraigning 20 people accused in involvement in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in November 2015, French media reported.

On November 13, 2015, three suicide bombers struck outside Stade de France in Saint-Denis north of Paris during a busy football game. In a simultaneous attack, a squad including another suicide bomber began indiscriminately shooting at people at cafes and restaurants in central Paris, and another terrorist group carried out a mass shooting and took hostages at a rock concert attended by some 1,500 people.

The high security trial, which has been in preparation for two years, is expected to span through nine months. With the case files exceeding a million pages, judges will hear more than 300 witnesses, France 24 said.

Fourteen of the attackers will be physically present in court while the other six will be judged in absentia. It is presumed that five of them are dead and one is on the run, BFMTV said.

Salah Abdeslam is the only perpatrator of the deadly bombing still alive, according to reports. He is accused of bringing the two terrorists who detonated explosive belts to Stade de France.

If the court proceedings go as scheduled, the verdict should be announced on May 24 and 25, 2022.

The attacks left 130 people killed and 350 others injured. The Islamic State (IS, terrorist organization, banned in Russia) claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was retaliation for French airstrikes on IS targets in Syria and Iraq.

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