Salah Abdeslam knows the price of his word and has learned to monetize it to get the hearing he demands. Two weeks ago, on the eagerly awaited day since the beginning of the trial on November 13, he exercised his right to remain silent: his interrogation on the night of the attacks. When, on Wednesday, April 13, the special court in Paris was supposed to hear him on the facts for the last time after the attacks, the only survivor of the commandos tipped the hearing into an unimagined dimension with one sentence: “I will speak today. »
Salah Abdeslam was not content with sticking to the original program of this interrogation, which was supposed to relate to the hours and days after the attacks. After six years of silence and seven months of debate, he chose his day to deliver what we had waited too long and no longer hoped for: the first detailed account of “his” November 13th. In particular, he revealed what his mission that night was: a suicide bombing in a bar on April 18and arrondissement of Paris, which he says he gave up at the last minute “Mankind”.
Before the president’s first questions, the defendant wanted to explain his change of heart: “If I exercised my right to remain silent, it was because I didn’t feel listened to. I understand that the exercise, which is that of the court, is not easy. But I think since the beginning of this case, people have not been able to accept who I really am. We got this image of me from the media that isn’t what we see today and it’s disturbing. I decide to express myself because it’s the last time I have the opportunity…”
From that moment on, the court’s questions no longer matter. Salah Abdeslam got the hearing he was looking for. For almost two and a half hours he will convey “his” truth. that “Fighter” The self-styled member of the Islamic State (IS) organization, who belched in the box at the start of the trial, gave way to a weighted defendant who weighed his every word, calculating its impact. Now all that matters is his story. Salah Abdeslam has tamed his process.
The genesis: “I had to go to Syria”
In order to clarify his presentation of the facts, the accused first wants to go back to the history of his deployment. We are nine months before the attacks: his older brother Brahim, who later became a suicide bomber for the Comptoir Voltaire, has just returned from a short stay in Syria, where he met his friend Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the coordinator of the attacks.
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