NewsWorldDefense of Mohamed Abrini: "you will never forget that...

Defense of Mohamed Abrini: “you will never forget that he never stopped doubting”

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On the 146th day of the trial for the November 13 attacks, the defense of Mohamed Abrini, who is accused of having participated in the attacks, requested, on Thursday, a reduction in his sentence to thirty years in prison, against the life sentence required by the prosecution. . For more than two hours, the two lawyers for the “man in the hat” above all wanted to recall the “humanity” of the accused. “We will never forget the suffering”, cowardly master Marie Violleau, at the place of the victims, at the beginning of his river pleading devoted to the defense of his client, Mohamed Abrini, Thursday, June 23. A brief concession which quickly gives way to a long plea, aimed at recalling to the memory of all the members of the court , the humanity of his client.In the newspapers, he is the one we used to call “the man with the hat”. During the attacks in Brussels in March 2016, pushing a cart with two other suicide bombers. Abrini then fled without blowing himself up. Best friend of Salah Abdeslam, this 37-year-old Belgian-Moroccan is also the one who accompanied the members of the commando in Paris the day before the attacks of November 13, 2015. During the trial, he explained that he was “scheduled for the 13th” after finally giving up on dying. For his lawyer, he is above all “a man, with parents, grandparents, a man who has blood running through his veins.” continue: “he tried to wear shirts when he could, when they were clean and well ironed”, to appear before the court. A precaution that he does not seem to have taken on this day of the hearing. Black T-shirt, black pants, black hair cut short, the defendant with equally black eyes, listens attentively, his lawyer, from his cubicle. “Who is Mohamed Abrini? “There is uncertainty”Throughout the trial, “he tried to remain dignified, he tried to answer all the questions. He respects this institution, he respects the Assize Court, contrary to what I have heard in the requisitions.” And to raise stronger: “Who is Mohamed Abrini? It is uncertainty. He speaks, but too little. He’s a poet. He sends us small papers sometimes with poems”, describes the lawyer. One thing is certain, assures the lawyer: “Mohamed Abrini is not a soldier of the Islamic State. Mohamed Abrini is guilty, you will find him guilty and he will be sentenced. But you will never forget that he never ceased to doubt “. As if to justify his approximations and his absences from the hearings, the magistrate recalls that “he was expected to adopt normal behavior. But when you come out of 70 months of isolation and overnight, you get to this place, how do you want us to be normal…”, storms the lawyer. We threw him into this clinical room in a prefabricated building with white lights, his eyes hurt, his big black eyes.” Mocking terrorism specialists, the magistrate tackles the testimonies of researchers who have taken the stand in recent weeks. “They were attractive, sometimes imprecise. We liked Hugo Micheron a lot, but what does Mohamed Abrini know about?” Asks the lawyer. “You are more competent than that,” she continues towards the court. “You, you know men”. “The death of her brother in Syria, the tipping point”Determined that the assistance better understands her client, the magistrate also returned to her childhood. His passion for football, video games, petty crimes, the room shared with his brother. And that day when everything changed with the death of this dear brother. “He was desperate for the departure of his brother to Syria. When he disappeared, we wanted to go find him. This is the tipping point: the departure and the death of the brother”. Arguments then followed aimed at relativize his jihadist involvement. His stay in Syria which allows nothing to be confirmed, his short stay in England, the relationship with his girlfriend. Until he gave up trying to blow himself up on the evening of the November 13 attacks. Certainly, “he rented a car. He is, at that time, a moral and material support. He brings help to the cell. It’s complicity, he will be condemned for that. But in his head, He doesn’t want to go there anymore. It’s not nothing to give up this stadium. He leaves, he slams the door. He won’t hold a Kalashnikov in his hands. On November 13, he won’t kill anyone. “.”Isolation is prison in prison”This is the reason why his lawyer challenges the life imprisonment formulated a few weeks earlier by the three general attorneys. “Perpetuity is a word full of fantasy, almost Jupiterian, which says nothing but does everything. Perpetuity hovers above our heads like a raptor. Perpetuity is removing the piece of sky between the bars, it’s taking a man and bringing him back to the status of an animal. It’s taking yourself for God. We only close our eyes to the dead, “says the lawyer in the middle of a silent audience.” prison, for a man stamped terrorist, there is isolation. In prison, you are free from nothing. Even the most absolute privacy, you are deprived of it. […] The worst status for an inmate is oblivion, oblivion in filth. Isolation is what puts states to shame”. And to resume even more: “Today, prison in prison is his life. Keep in mind that he is a man who assumes. He always doubted, until he didn’t go there. Life is too much when you know the man, too much for a man who is capable of writing poems”. For all these reasons, Maître Violleau proposes “a 30-year sentence with the security you want”. “Don’t forget the words of the accused in the midst of everything he could have said ‘If I could have, I would have bought universal peace’, that’s also Abrini”, he said. she concluded.”He has a beating heart”After a suspension of the session, it was the turn of Mohamed Abrini’s second Belgian lawyer, Stanislas Eskenazi, to speak. Like his colleague, a few minutes earlier, his pleading s opens with a thought for the victims. Smiling, almost jovial, he begins by evoking the memory of a couple who lost a child, crossed by chance on the streets of Paris. “We exchanged a few words, it was sweet”, says the lawyer. And then like his colleague, he returns to the human character of his client. “I have shared seventy prison visits with him for six years. While the victims came to testify, one would be crazy to say he felt nothing. He has a beating heart”. He also retraces the decor of his childhood. “Molenbeek is not a Rohingya camp and we eat our fill there, but we have to try to understand why we Belgians hold the record for number of departures per inhabitants in Europe. It’s about explaining the choices,” explains Stanislas Eskenazi, who recounts the cafés in Brussels where we meet, the dice games, the tea, the hash. “Cowardice is what is more human” After retracing his career, he gives the court one last piece of advice: “You must remember that Mr. Abrini has given up. I heard from my opponents the cowardice of Monsieur Abrini. Cowardice is what is most human. It reminds us that he has his feet on the ground and not in the sky. This should reassure you.” To conclude, he takes up the words of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the sponsor of the attacks, who said to Abrini on November 12, 2015: “You will end your life in prison if you do not go there. Prove Abaoud wrong”, he asserts as a final challenge to the court.

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