In the trial of the suspected Islamist-motivated terrorist attack in Nice in 2016, the public prosecutor’s office demanded 15 years in prison for three of the suspects. Two of them, close acquaintances of the killer, accused the public prosecutor in Paris on Tuesday of membership of a terrorist organization.
The third suspect had committed the most serious crime involved in the trial: he had given the killer the weapon he used in the attack. For the five other defendants, who were also involved in procuring a weapon for the hitman, the prosecution demanded between two and ten years in prison and, in some cases, an exit from the country.
Ran into a crowd with a truck
On July 14, 2016, the French National Day, Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a heavy truck into a crowd on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. He also shot people. In the end, 86 people died, including two students and a teacher from Berlin.
More than 200 people were injured. The perpetrator was shot dead after the crime. The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the crime. Although the researchers found evidence of the Islamist radicalization of the perpetrator, no connection to IS was initially found.
“Extremely Violent Action”
The public prosecutor said in their plea that the killer had aimed for the highest possible number of victims. His actions were extremely violent and he chose a place that was always full of people and symbolic of the city of Nice. His goal was to carry out a terrorist attack.
However, there was no direct connection with IS. The terrorist organization’s complaint was opportunistic. Nevertheless, the killer clearly wanted to give the attack a jihadist dimension.
At the beginning of the pleas, the prosecutor’s office acknowledged the courage of the victims to appear in court as an accomplice prosecutor. She responded to criticism from relatives of the authorities’ actions in connection with the autopsies of the murdered. You can’t do anything right, but you can learn from the actions of the authorities, one of the prosecutors assured.
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