Terrorism. Nice attack: after the last words of the defendants, the court deliberates

They are now withdrawn to a secret location, and they will only come out with a verdict. The specially composed Assize Court of Paris has been deliberating since Monday morning at the end of the trial of the Nice attack, on July 14, 2016, which left 86 dead and more than 400 injured when Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel crushed the crowd massed on the Promenade des Anglais.

Around President Laurent Raviot, they are four assessors to decide the legal fate of the eight accused. A sixth professional magistrate is with them, present since the beginning of the trial to follow the debates and deliberations, and to replace one of the incumbents in the event of failure.

The court will have to answer a total of 81 questions. She should deliver her verdict on Tuesday, from 5 p.m.

Monday morning, the last day of hearing was short, since it was devoted only to the last words of the defendants.

Among the seven defendants present (the eighth is in Tunisia where he was imprisoned), only one preferred to remain silent for this final speech. This is Chokri Chafroud, a relative of the terrorist prosecuted for terrorist criminal association.

Mohamed Ghraieb, another friend of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel tried for the same qualification, repeated that he had “nothing to do with what happened. I listened carefully to the debates, especially the civil parties and the victims. I wish them to rebuild. “I am not a terrorist,” insisted the 46-year-old defendant, who was deemed free, and concluded by saying: “I trust justice. »

Against these two defendants, the national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office last week requested a sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment.

“I repeat, I am very sorry”

Ramzi Arefa, the man who provided the pistol that the terrorist used during the attack to shoot at the police, once again acknowledged the facts while dismissing any terrorist inclination: “I am guilty of having sold a weapon without think about it, I haven’t stopped thinking about it for six years, he said. Hope you heard it. For him, the prosecution abandoned the terrorist character of the association of criminals, and asked for a sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment.

As for the four members of the Albanian community of Nice tried for having participated in the chain of transmission of the gun (and an assault rifle found in a cellar), they also tried to make amends. “I repeat, I am very sorry, declares Artan Henaj. I express my despair for all the victims and the families who have lost their sons and loved ones. The only woman accused in the trial, Enkeledja Zace said she had “seen and heard a lot of things. Now I want to go on a good path. »

“I would like to apologize for what I did,” said Endri Elezi, as did Maksim Celaj who assured that the trial had been for him “a great discovery”, with an assize court ” attentive to the words of the accused and sensitive towards the victims”.

Terrorism. Nice attack: after the last words of the defendants, the court deliberates