French court issues guilty verdicts over 2015 Paris terror attacks

A French court has handed down guilty verdicts to 20 men accused of involvement in the 2015 terrorist attacks after 10 months of trial, state media reported.

The main suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the only survivor of the 10-man commando of the attacks that killed 131 people and injured at least 413, has been sentenced to life in jail without parole, the maximum penalty under current French law, Xinhua news agency quoted France 24 as saying in a report early Thursday.

Of the others accused, 18 were found guilty on all charges, while one called Farid Kharkhach was convicted with a lesser fraud charge.

They were given prison terms ranging from two years to maximum 30 years, the report added.

Six other defendants believed to have died in the attacks were tried in their absence.

During the trial, family members and friends of the victims, as well as survivors of the attacks were in court.

The attacks, which the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for, happened on the night of November 13, 2015 outside the Stade de France stadium where a football game was held between France and Germany, as well as in bars and restaurants and inside the concert hall of the Bataclan theatre.

When the trial first began 10 months ago, Abdeslam was defiant, describing himself as a “soldier” of the Islamic State terror group, reports the BBCC.

But he later apologised to the victims, telling the court in his closing remarks on Wednesday night that he was “not a murderer, or a killer”, and that to convict him of murder would be “an injustice”.

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