Monday, May 23

November-13 trial: Salah Abdeslam fit to appear in court on Thursday

Sketch of the hearing of November 2, 2021 showing Salah Abdeslam at the trial of the attacks of November 13 before the special assize court in Paris Benoit PEYRUCQ

Salah Abdeslam, the main accused in the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015 who tested positive for Covid-19 last month, is able to appear at the hearing scheduled for Thursday, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) announced on Wednesday.

“From a health point of view, nothing is against its extraction on Thursday, January 6, 2022 for the resumption of the hearing,” added the Pnat in a press release, citing the president of the court of special meeting, Jean-Louis Périès.

The Pnat press release does not specify whether Salah Abdeslam tested negative on a new PCR test.

According to the Pnat, however, additional medical expertise should take place on Wednesday.

According to a source familiar with the matter, this additional information follows the interventions of Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer at the hearing on Tuesday. Me Olivia Ronen had maintained that her client was unable to appear.

A first expert opinion carried out on Monday concluded that Salah Abdeslam was “fit both medically and healthily to attend the hearings of the Assize Court”.

“In the current state of knowledge, no specific measure should be taken with the exception of an adjustment of the duration of appearance during the first two days to take into account the secondary asthenia of the infection”, concluded this report consulted by AFP.

The only surviving member of the jihadist commandos who killed 130 and injured hundreds in Paris and Saint-Denis in November 2015, Salah Abdeslam, who has not appeared at the hearing since November 25, has been tested positive for Covid-19 on December 27.

The accused is being held in Fleury-Mérogis (Essonne) prison, south of Paris, where several sources of contamination have been detected recently. In solitary confinement, the prisoner can receive his lawyers and rub shoulders with guards on a daily basis.

The special assize court will judge twenty defendants until the end of May, including fourteen present at the hearing, suspected of being involved to varying degrees in the preparation of the most deadly jihadist attacks ever perpetrated in France.

The first accused to be questioned on Thursday is expected to be Swedish national Osama Krayem. But his presence is uncertain: he too has refused to appear since November 25.

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