“Justice has passed, it has had the last word. Faced with these despicable acts of terrorism, France has responded with democracy and with the law”, estimated Thursday, June 30 on franceinfo, Nicolas Le Bris, one of the general attorneys in the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015 which ended on Wednesday June 29. Salah Abdeslam was sentenced to irreducible life imprisonment.
>> LARGE FORMAT: the historic trial of the November 13 attacks in 50 moments of hearing
franceinfo: In what state of mind are you today at the end of this trial?
Nicholas Le Bris: This trial was over and just for that it’s a huge relief. There was a part of the unknown which was linked to the duration of this trial, the number of defendants, the pandemic which could have consequences on this trial and who had some. We are proud to have succeeded in going to the end, we the representatives of the public prosecutor’s office because it was not an obvious thing on such a trial.
“What I remember and take with me are the words of the victims. I rediscovered this file through the testimonies of victims.”Nicolas Le Bris, one of the general attorneys of the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015
Listening to these stories was very powerful for me. For me, on November 13, there were 130 dead and hundreds injured, but we saw the families, the realities, the stories that shocked us, we saw all the individualities emerge, all this suffering and we realized the cataclysm that these attacks had been.
When you are general counsel, you have to hide your emotions…
There is the mask that allows you to hide them but I think you shouldn’t hide from it, these were times that even for us were difficult. We had prepared for it and we knew it was going to be hard but maybe not that hard. Justice has been done, it is very strong and very important, the court has pronounced its verdict. Justice passed, she had the last word. Faced with these despicable acts of terrorism, France responded with democracy and the law.
The defendants, you had them before your eyes, did they surprise you?
There were surprises, there were one or two defendants on whom I was able to have another point of view by seeing them in court and others who reinforced the negative impression I had before the start of the trial.
“I saw in particular an accused spending most of the hearing sleeping, others sometimes sketching smiles when victims came to testify.”Nicolas Le Bris, one of the general attorneys of the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015
All this I notice and we are very attentive to our place and how things are going in the box. These are elements which say a lot about the accused and which make it possible to reinforce the opinion or the conviction that one may have about the accused.
Have you seen the defendants evolve as well, like Salah Abdeslam who says he has evolved?
He declared that he had evolved, it was a slogan for him. He developed a defense strategy. Is this an evolution towards an absence of danger in the more or less short term? I will not venture to say it. I wonder about the sincerity of these words.
“Justice has had the last word in the face of these despicable acts of terrorism,” said Nicolas Le Bris, one of the general counsel in the trial of the November 13 attacks – he responds to Mathilde Lemaire