At the trial of the November 13 attacks, a confident accused

HEARING REPORT – At the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, the quick-wittedness of Mohamed Bakkali, found guilty of participating in the foiled Islamist attack on the Thalys, confused the audience.

As soon as Mohamed Bakkali speaks, we understand that we are dealing with someone intelligent. This sturdy 34-year-old, shaved head and neat beard of an intense black, can boast of having a clean criminal record and a license in sociology. “At the base”, rather he would have liked to study ethnology but, by necessity, he discovered and appreciated this other subject. “Whether we like it or not, the human being is a social being. If we take away its sociality, we take away its humanity ”, he professes.

He is in a good position to know that. Detained in solitary confinement since his arrest in January 2018, Mohamed Bakkali spent his license in cell. While he has never been convicted in the past, he was found guilty of participating in the foiled Islamist attack on the Thalys. The sentence – twenty-five years of criminal imprisonment – has been appealed against and is therefore not final. Here, the Belgian-Moroccan accused with a clear verb and a keen eye faces life imprisonment. According to the prosecution,

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