Trial of the Paris attacks: a defendant positive for Covid, new one-week suspension

This is the Belgian-Moroccan Farid Kharkhach. “We will not be able to hold this hearing today, nor next week”, announced the president of the special assize court of Paris, Jean-Louis Périès, Friday when the hearing resumed. This will resume “normally on May 17 at 12:30 p.m.”, he announced.

“An accused is in turn affected by the Covid. In the current state of the procedure, it is not possible to sit,” explained the president.

“+Dura lex, sed lex+ (“the law is hard, but it’s the law”, Editor’s note)”, he commented.

Farid Kharkhach, one of 11 defendants appearing in custody at the trial, tested positive after showing symptoms of Covid-19 in court on Thursday.

The 39-year-old Belgian-Moroccan is “confused” for the civil parties who were to testify, assured one of his lawyers, Me Fanny Vial.

This new interruption comes on the third day of a new series of hearings of some 90 civil parties, survivors of the jihadist attacks which left 130 dead in Paris and Saint-Denis or bereaved relatives of the victims.

The court would thus normally hear, next Monday and Tuesday, the members of the American group Eagles of Death Metal, whose concert at the Bataclan on the evening of November 13, 2015 had been abruptly interrupted by Kalashnikov fire.

Their hearings are postponed to a later date.

The Covid has already invited itself several times to the trial of the November 13 attacks at the start of the year, postponing the scheduled end of the hearing by four weeks.

Before this new case of contamination, the verdict was expected on June 24.

It could now be returned “June 29”, President Périès said during this brief hearing.

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