The Latest: Mixed feelings after mixed verdict in France
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the trial in Paris of the brother of Mohammed Merah (all times local):
Families and lawyers have mixed feelings about the verdict in deadly Islamic extremist attacks on a Jewish school and paratroopers that stunned France.
In a tense verdict Thursday, a French court convicted Abdelkader Merah and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for terrorism ties but found him not guilty of complicity in his brother Mohammed’s killings.
The mother of one of the soldiers killed, Latifa Ibn Ziaten, cried at the verdict and expressed regret that the court didn’t go “all the way.” She said she hopes Abdelkader Merah “thinks of the families” of victims every night.
Lawyers for the victims welcomed the court’s decision to hand Abdelkader the maximum sentence for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise as a partial victory.
Defense lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti welcomed the court’s decision to acquit him of complicity as proof of the independence of the justice system.
A French court has convicted a French-Algerian man of terrorism ties but found him not guilty of complicity in his brother’s deadly attacks on a Jewish school and French paratroopers.
Abdelkader Merah was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Paris court Thursday after a tense and emotional trial over his younger brother Mohammed’s killings of three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in the Toulouse region in 2012. That marked the first of what became a wave of attacks in France by homegrown Islamic extremists.
The trial was the only opportunity for families of victims to seek public justice because Mohammed Merah was killed by police.
Abdelkader Merah, now 35, was accused of radicalizing his younger brother but has always denied helping Mohammed prepare the deadly rampage.
The highly-watched trial of the older brother of slain French jihadi Mohammed Merah is nearing its end in a Paris court.
Abdelkader Merah is accused of complicity to terror, and prosecutors believe he played an active role in radicalizing his younger sibling and in co-plotting deadly 2012 attacks in Toulouse and Montauban.
A verdict should come Thursday afternoon.
Earlier this week, public prosecutor Naima Rudloff requested the maximum sentence for Merah: life imprisonment with 22 years before any possible parole.
Abdelkader Merah denies any wrongdoing over his brother’s killing of three French paratroopers, and a shooting in a Jewish school that left a rabbi and three children dead.