Sid-Ahmed Ghlam asks forgiveness for the murder of Aurélie Chatelain

Sid-Ahmed Ghlam, on appeal for the murder of a young woman and an aborted attack on a church in Villejuif in April 2015, asked for forgiveness Thursday from the family of the victim without however acknowledging his murder.






© Jacques Brinon / AP / SIPA


Algerian student Sid-Ahmed Ghlam, on appeal for the murder of a young woman and an aborted attack on a church in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne) in April 2015, asked for forgiveness on Thursday from the victim’s family without however acknowledging his assassination. “I want to say sorry to the family of Aurélie Chatelain, sorry a thousand times, it really comes from the heart,” said the accused invited to speak before the special assize court before the judges retire to deliberate. The verdict is expected in the evening. The maximum sentence, namely life imprisonment, with a security period of 22 years and a definitive ban from the territory at the end of his sentence, has been requested against him.

During his appeal trial, Sid-Ahmed Ghlam, 30, admitted to visiting Syria in October 2014 and February 2015 to meet with ISIS officials. He also admitted that he intended to carry out a deadly attack on a church in Villejuif. But, he denied being the murderer of Aurélie Chatelain, a 32-year-old mother, killed in a parking lot in Villejuif on April 19, 2015. As in the first instance, Sid-Ahmed Ghlam maintained that a mysterious accomplice, of which the investigators found no trace, had killed the young woman. Only the blood and DNA of Sid-Ahmed Ghlam were found at the crime scene.

“I never wanted the death of anyone or Aurélie Chatelain or parishioners”

After the assassination, Mr Ghlam had accidentally injured his thigh by putting his weapon back on his belt. This injury forced him to give up his plan to attack a church. During his appeal trial, he admitted that the plan was to kill parishioners and not just “scare” them as he claimed in his first trial.

Among his co-defendants, Rabah Boukaouma, considered by the prosecution as the “chief logistician” of the operation, praised “the courage and dignity” of the family of Aurélie Chatelain. “I never wanted the death of anyone or Aurélie Chatelain or parishioners,” he said. “I am not an accomplice of a killing project”, he maintained while acknowledging “a lack of discernment”. Mr. Boukaouma was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment including a two-thirds security period at first instance. The advocates general wanted the special assize court to confirm this sentence on appeal.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.