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French court convicts 14 in 2015 Charlie Hebdo, Jewish market attacks

By
Don Jacobson
Police cordon off the area around the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper in Paris, France, following a terrorist shooting attack on January 7, 2015. File Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI
Police cordon off the area around the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper in Paris, France, following a terrorist shooting attack on January 7, 2015. File Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A French court on Wednesday found 14 people guilty of participating in the 2015 terrorist attacks at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

Eleven of the 14 defendants were present at the Special Assize Court of Paris when the guilty verdicts were announced by a panel of judges, ending a trial that lasted for more than three months.

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Three others, including the wife of one of the attackers, were tried in absentia in connection with the attacks on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9, 2015.

The main attackers -- brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi and accomplice Amedy Coulibaly -- were killed by police.

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Sixteen people died in the two attacks, including 12 at Charlie Hebdo's offices in the first attack and four two days later at the Jewish supermarket in the Paris suburb of Porte de Vincennes.

Coulibaly was shot dead when officers stormed the market and the Kouachi brothers were killed by police in another operation on the same day.

The longest sentence given Wednesday was 30 years in prison for Ali Riza Polat, a 35-year-old Franco-Turkish man prosecutors say was Coulibaly's accomplice. He was convicted of being accessory to murder and terrorism after proclaiming his innocence at trial.

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Amar Ramdani, who was found guilty of providing material support, was given a 20-year sentence, while Nezar Pastor Alwatik and Willy Prevost also drew long sentences for terror-related offenses.

The rest of those in court Wednesday were convicted of belonging to a criminal enterprise and given sentences of less than 10 years.

Hayat Boumedienne, the wife of Coulibaly who's believed to be living in Syria, was given a life sentence. Two others convicted Wednesday, brothers Mohamed and Mehdi Belhoucine, are believed to be dead, killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria.

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