After a tense interrogation of Salah Abdeslam, the lawyers leave the room

“Precisely”“I won’t say that”† During the trial of the November 13 attacks, chief defendant Salah Abdeslam gave only rare answers, Tuesday, March 15, before the special court of assizes in Paris. When asked about his role in the preparation of jihadist attacks, he was often satisfied with a “no comment”† This is the second hearing on the merits since the start of this extraordinary trial.

“Can you hear me there?” asks the 32-year-old Frenchman, small checked shirt, gel in his hair, black mask on his face, before starting a strange pas de deux with the president of the special court of assizes in Paris, Jean-Louis Périès.

After a new series of hearings by Belgian investigators on the logistics set up by the jihadist cell in August 2015, the magistrate has identified the only surviving member of the commandos who killed 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis. Salah Abdeslam is in particular suspected of two trips to France to search for explosives.

He is also accused of “recovering terrorists” who returned to Europe from Syria via five convoys with vehicles rented under his real identity, President Périès recalled.

He is first questioned about his journey, which the investigators suspect he made at the end of August 2015 between Belgium and Hungary, during which he would have brought back Bilal Hadfi – one of the three suicide bombers from the Stade de France – and Chakib Akrouh, member of the terrace command . Salah Abdeslam admits to having rented the BMW used to transport them, but denies having been the driver.

The president then questions him about the Mercedes, which he rents on September 8 for a new tour of Brussels-Budapest, from where he brings back Najim Laachraoui, editor of the November 13 attacks and suicide bomber of the Brussels attacks. “Who asked you to do this?” asks the chairman. “No comment”the suspect responds.

Recognizing this journey, he refutes another, which he would have made with great strides, still to Budapest. He would then have accompanied the Bataclan commando, namely: Samy Amimour, Ishmael Mostefai and Foued Mohamed-Aggad. “Who did you give the vehicle to?” asks the chairman. ‘I can’t tell you. Just because people are no longer part of this world doesn’t mean I’m going to blame them.’release Salah Abdeslam, who also claims never to have repatriated the two Iraqi suicide bombers from the Stade de France.

However, he recognizes a fifth trip, October 2-9, to Ulm, Germany, during which he brought back suspects Sofien Ayari, Osama Krayem and Ahmad Alkhald, one of the gang’s craftsmen, who are believed to be dead in Syria. Again, he won’t say who asked him to take this trip. The president insists and makes assumptions. “You should have been a detective”mocked Salah Abdeslam, provocatively.

During his interrogation, the suspect remained brutal towards his interlocutors, emphasizing, for example, the “sensitivity” From the chairman. On several occasions he caused great anger on the benches of the bourgeois parties, such as when he explained that he had been wanted “are Muslim brothers” back from Syria not to act like during “The second World War” when ‘Jews were slaughtered’ and “the other Jews lived peacefully in other countries”

He assures that he was not aware of the attack plans of the various terrorists he is convoying. “If you had known that these people would participate in attacks, would you go looking for them?” asks an appraiser. Respondent’s response: “If these people envisioned attacks, it’s because they had good reasons for doing so.”

Sylvie Topaloff, attorney for the civil parties, then tries to understand why he persists in not recognizing certain routes. “I’m surprised you only recognized two stages. I’m very touched to see that the three transfers you refuse to recognize are the most difficult to spot.”throws them at him, trying to push him to the limit.

“It’s a way for you to reduce your involvement: it doesn’t say you went looking for people who blew themselves up in the attacks.”

Sylvie Topaloff, civil party lawyer

at the special court of assize in Paris

“Have you given birth?” the accused reacts sharply and stirs up a new tumult on the part of the bourgeois parties. The president resolutely calls him to order and asks him to speak out with respect.

But the suspect finds it difficult to moderate his remarks. Gérard Chemla, another civil party lawyer, then calmly addresses him. “When you present yourself as a victim, explain that your life has been ruined, do you understand that for people who are real victims, you are in an indecency that is unbearable?” he asks her. “It is you who are unbearable”Abdeslam replies dryly, provoking new protests in the room.

Lawyer Olivia Ronen and her colleague Martin Vettes try to intervene. President Jean-Louis Périès is irritated. “It’s up to the accused to answer the questions! We’re not in the National Assembly!” Martin Vettes perseveres. Show on. “I know what the hearing police are, you’re not going to teach me that”, the magistrate launches, to the applause of the audience. Finally, he decides to suspend the hearing for a few minutes.

“I have been trying for months to maintain the serenity of the debates (…). In this context, it is not allowed to hold public demonstrations”, declares the chairman at the resumption.

“I can’t stand to be applauded or shouted or commented on, that’s not the way to do justice.”

Jean-Louis Périès, the president of the court

at the special court of assize in Paris

A belated call for the defense of Salah Abdeslam, who asked to formally record several incidents. In addition to the applause and their inability to speak, they lament the fact that the first reviewer, Salah Abdeslam, told the “civil parties [attendaient] other answers” from his side.

The president refuses, as he has acted as he should. All defense lawyers then unanimously left the trial as the serenity of the debates was over “affected”† Faced with this dramatic change, the president decided to adjourn the hearing shortly before 6 p.m.