At the trial of November 13, the lawyers of Krayem and Ayari refute the “complicity”

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Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari are suspected of having been the ” dutch commando of the attacks of November 13, 2015, in Paris. In their pleadings Monday June 20 and Wednesday June 22, their lawyers endeavored to dismantle the thesis of the accusation.

From our special correspondent at the Paris courthouse,

If silence is a right, it cannot, it must not benefit them “, had estimated the national anti-terrorism prosecution in its indictment about Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari. The Swede and the Tunisian have not spoken for months. The first had asserted his right to silence barely three months after the start of the hearing, even refusing for a long time to attend. the second had followed suit in March.

This silence is not the only similarity between the two men. Both left in 2014 to swell the ranks of the Islamic State organization in Syria where they were injured, Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari left together the following year to reach Germany via the migrant route then Brussels in a car driven by Salah Abdeslam. And on the evening of November 13, 2015, it was still together that they joined Amsterdam airport by bus from the Belgian capital.

This trip earned them to be considered by the public prosecutor as the ” dutch commando of the November 13 attacks. Those who should have carried out an attack at Amsterdam-Schipol airport and who, for some unknown reason, gave up on it, but who by their mere presence contributed to numerically reinforcing the commandos of Paris and Saint-Denis. They are also accused of having participated in the making of the explosive vests and of having galvanized the members of the terrorist cell. In particular prosecuted for complicity in murders in an organized gang and in connection with a terrorist enterprise, the two men were the subject two weeks ago heavy requisitions : life imprisonment, with 30 years of safety.

Arguments dismantled one by one

So, Monday June 20 and then Wednesday June 22, the defenses of Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari endeavored to dismantle the prosecution’s arguments point by point in order to demonstrate that the complicity did not hold. On their participation in the making of explosive vests, first. For the Swedish lawyer Osama Krayem, Me Margaux Durand-Poincloux, ” nothing proves it “. ” There is nothing to establish that Sofien Ayari witnessed the making of explosive vests and saw weapons “, added the lawyer of the Tunisian, Me Ilyacine Maalaoui, in an often convoluted pleading. Because if his DNA was found on clothes discovered in caches used by the cell, no trace was found on the objects having allowed the manufacture of the vests. ” It is not because there is his DNA on t-shirts or personal property that he participated in the development of terrorist acts “, insisted Me Maalaoui.

On their silence judged guilty, then. ” Mr. Krayem’s silence is far from being opportunistic. It is not a contempt for the court, he is extremely attentive to the accounts of the victims and the indictments “, assured his other lawyer, Me Gisele Stuyck. In January, he explained in a letter have chosen to remain silent because he had lost all hope “. The statement was echoed by Me Stuyck: “ He asked me : “Do you think that the court waited to hear your argument to make their decision?” He wanted to know if there was any hope that he would only be convicted for what he did. Mr. Krayem no longer has any hope of being condemned solely for what he did. »

There is no interpretation of silence except yours », Launched Me Ilyacine Maalaoui, very offensive, against the general attorneys. For the Tunisian’s lawyer, whether he speaks or is silent, his client was the loser every time: ” Because he was silent, Ayari was a despicable being. And when he spoke, he became charismatic, leader of the accused. What a dilemma. »

On the galvanization of the members of the cell, precisely. How could Osama Krayem have galvanized the members of the terrorist cell when the organization of the attacks was done in French and he had ” a total ignorance of this language at the time of his incarceration “, argued Me Durand-Poincloux. For her, the galvanization was provided by the coordinators of the attacks, the brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui. ” I’m looking in the arraignment order, I can’t find anything. In the file, I can’t find anything “, confirmed Me Maalaoui about his client.

On the trip to Amsterdam-Schipol airport, finally. Again, according to the lawyers of Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari, there is nothing to establish that an attack was planned there. No communications, no weapons, no trace of explosives found in their bags. ” What is there to materialize this attempt ? Nothing “, summed up Me Ilyacine Maalaoui. In addition to this lack of material evidence, it is difficult for Me Durand-Poincloux to imagine that an attack was planned at Schipol on the evening of November 13, 2015, when it was precisely from there that Ahmed Dahmani, another alleged member from the cell, left the day after the attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis.

A heavy profile

The Swedish lawyer nevertheless admitted it: his position is delicate. Because the profile of his client is heavy. Osama Krayem was identified in an Islamic State group propaganda video showing the execution of a Jordanian pilot, burned alive in a cage. ” I too dream of it at nightdeclared Me Margaux Durand-Poincloux. For me, we don’t stand up for someone in whom we see nothing or only evil. Today I got up because I’m sure he also thinks about it at night. Osama Krayem is also the one who gave up trying to blow himself up in the Brussels metro during the attacks of March 22, 2016. In this case, whose trial opens in the fall in the Belgian capital, he also faces prison. for life.

But in his defense, the man should only be judged ” for the acts he committed in connection with the attacks in Paris “. And since nothing allows her to establish complicity, she claims that only the association of terrorist criminals be retained, an offense punishable at the time of the facts by a sentence of 20 years in prison. By acceding to her request, the court would not take any risk, she argues: ” You can sleep soundly. He will be sentenced to life for complicity in the Brussels attacks in 2023. »

Without going that far, Sofien Ayari’s lawyer asked the court not to punish him more than is fair and useful. A ” societal imperative “, affirmed Me Maalaoui. Verdict on June 29.


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