French court sentences surviving November 2015 attacker to life
Paris, Jun 29 (EFE).- The lone survivor among the 10 Islamic State militants who carried out the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead in the French capital was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Salah Abdeslam claimed that he deactivated the explosive vest he was wearing on the night of the attack, but the judges concluded that the evidence showed the device malfunctioned.
The 32-year-old Belgian national became only the fifth person to receive what is the harshest sentence permitted under French law.
Nineteen of the 20 defendants were found guilty of offenses relating to terrorism, and the 20th was convicted on lesser charges of fraud.
One other defendant, Mohammed Abrini, was also sentenced to life, but will become eligible for parole after 22 years.
Abrini was part of the ISIS team that traveled from Brussels to Paris to carry out the attacks on bars, a sports stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, but decided at the last minute to bow out.
Mohamed Bakkali, Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari received sentences of 30 years and will each have to spend at least two decades locked up.
Six of the 20 defendants were tried in absentia. One of the absentees is in a Turkish prison, while the others are thought to have died fighting for ISIS in Syria or Iraq.
Abdeslam was the only one to face charges of murder and kidnapping. The remaining defendants were accused of providing logistical support to the attackers.
The defendants have 10 days to appeal their convictions. EFE