Monday, May 16

Terrorism. Trial of November 13: a new accused tested positive for Covid, the recovery on Tuesday compromised

One of the accused in the trial of the November 13 attacks, who presented symptoms of Covid-19 at the hearing on Friday, tested positive, we learned on Saturday from sources close to the case, confirming information from France Inter.

Ali El Haddad Asufi, one of the 11 defendants appearing detained, was “subjected to a self-test (Friday) evening which turned out to be positive”, indicated the president of the special assize court of Paris, Jean-Louis Périès, in a message sent to the lawyers. The positivity of this test was confirmed to AFP by one of Ali El Haddad Asufi’s lawyers, Me Martin Méchin. His client has yet to undergo a PCR test.

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The resumption of the trial compromised on Tuesday

Ali El Haddad Asufi, who is “not vaccinated”, “presented symptoms yesterday (Friday) at the hearing” and “was a little isolated in the box”, according to Me Méchin. “He has always been present, he does not want the hearing to take place without him,” added Martin Méchin.

The resumption of the hearing on Tuesday is thus strongly compromised, when the court had begun questioning the defendants on the facts with which they are accused. Mohamed Abrini thus justified the attacks this week, while the jihadist Osama Krayem chose to assert his right to silence.

The health situation had already disrupted the resumption of the trial, in early January after a two-week break: the main defendant, Salah Abdeslam, had contracted Covid in prison at the end of December and was still positive. A counter-expertise having concluded on Monday that Salah Abdeslam was “cured” and “not contagious”, the hearing resumed on Tuesday with the start of the interrogations of the accused.

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