A main suspect within the trial over the 2015 massacres at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and elsewhere in Paris denied on Friday any duty for the assaults carried out by terrorists, one among whom was an in depth affiliate.
Ali Riza Polat, a 35-year-old Franco-Turkish man, was jailed a number of weeks after the fear assault that surprised France, with investigators saying he tried to flee the nation a number of instances heading for Syria.
“I’m harmless!” Polat advised the courtroom, his head shaved and his face hidden behind a material masks.
“I am right here as a result of sure folks, mendacity squealers, mentioned all kinds of nonsense… however they’re mendacity,” he mentioned.
Born in Istanbul, Polat moved to France when he was three and mentioned he fell into petty crime when he was 13 or 14, later beginning to deal medication.
He grew up in the identical tough Paris suburb of Grigny as Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a police officer on January 8, 2015 and 4 folks on the Hyper Cacher Jewish grocery store the subsequent day earlier than being killed by police.
These assaults got here simply after two brothers, Stated and Cherif Kouachi, stormed the Charlie Hebdo places of work, killing 12.
Suspected of serving to present the weapons for all three gunmen, Polat is dealing with essentially the most severe cost among the many 14 accused: complicity in a terrorist act, which carries a possible life sentence.
However Polat, who says he transformed to Islam in 2014, insisted he had no function within the assaults.
“I’ve nothing to do with them. You can’t kill the harmless… I’m not violent,” he mentioned.
Bought-out Charlie Hebdo
For his defence, Polat has chosen Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, the lawyer who defended the convicted worldwide terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, higher generally known as “Carlos the Jackal.” She later turned his companion and married him in a non secular ceremony in jail, although the union has no authorized validity.
The trial of Polat and 13 different suspects accused of aiding the three gunmen opened Wednesday, and is about to run till November.
Charlie Hebdo marked the event by reprinting the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that had angered Muslims around the globe, a transfer that drew reward from free-speech advocates however anger from many Muslim leaders.
On Friday, the paper mentioned its Wednesday version bought out the primary day, prompting it to print 200,000 extra copies that may hit newsstands within the coming days.
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