Defense lawyers unanimously left the trial of the November 13 attacks on Tuesday to protest the court’s refusal to formally record the incidents that occurred during the very tense interrogation of the main accused Salah Abdeslam.
Faced with the benches left empty by the defense, the president of the special assize court of Paris, Jean-Louis Périès, decided to suspend the hearing shortly before 6 p.m. It will resume Wednesday noon.
Applause and howls
The president had already suspended the hearing for the first time before after a clash with one of Salah Abdeslam’s lawyers, Me Martin Vettes, to whom he had launched: “Well then, change your job! “. His remark was followed by loud applause from the audience.
A first round of applause, accompanied by screams, came after Salah Abdeslam said during his interrogation that we “(had) screwed up (his) life”.
“130 dead! “, in particular shouted a civil party to the address of the only member still alive of the commandos of November 13, in an electric atmosphere.
First suspension and call for calm
Salah Abdeslam’s lawyers took turns trying to take the floor to protest against the lack of reaction from the court, but their microphones remained muted.
After a suspension of about twenty minutes, President Périès launched a “call for calm”.
“I have been trying for several months to maintain the serenity of the debates (…) In this context, it is not admissible to have demonstrations on the part of the public”, declared the magistrate. “I can’t tolerate applause or shouting or comments, that’s not how we should do justice.”
Abdeslam’s lawyers leave the room
A too late call for the defense of Salah Abdeslam, who asked that several incidents be formally recorded.
In addition to the applause and their inability to speak, they deplored that the first assessor told Salah Abdeslam that the “civil parties (waited) for other answers” from him.
Considering the serenity of the debates “compromised”, the lawyers of Salah Abdeslam and those of his 13 co-defendants left the room.