Mohamed Abrini was interrogated about his role in the logistics of the attacks between late August and early November. He will discuss his participation in more detail next week.
He says it for the first time… but he won’t say anything else just yet. On trial November 13man in a hatabout the attacks from Brussels, Mohamed Abrini admitted on Tuesday 22 March that he was “foreseenfor the attacks in Saint-Denis and Paris.
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On March 22, the anniversary of the attacks that killed 32 people in Brussels in March 2016, Mohamed Abrini would have preferred that “we’re talking about memorialsnot him. The 37 year old Belgian is “man in a hat“whose photo everyone saw, taken by the security camera at Zaventem airport, a dark bob on his head, pushing a cart”40 kg of explosives‘, as he recalls before a special jury trial in Paris. Before giving up the explosion and flight.
For the prosecution, this refusal was the second in several months. The day before the attacks that claimed the lives of 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis in November 2015, Mohamed Abrini traveled to the French capital with members of the Stade de France, the Parisian terraces and the Bataclan. “Death convoy“, as he told investigators. But that evening he left for Brussels in a taxi. During his auditions, Mohamed Abrini always claimed that he only came to accompany his friends.on one’s last legs”, an amazing risk that is considered not very credible. The prosecution rather believes that he surrendered here too, which explains the last-minute change of command among the other members of the commando.
“Never” participated in the preparation
But at today’s hearing, Mohamed Abrini is being asked only about his role in the logistics of the attacks between late August and early November. For several hours the court, the prosecutor, the civil lawyers, and even the defense, in turn, more or less tactfully, reminded him that he sometimes tended to say:anything“when he”in the fog“in her head.”It’s proven, I think.“The defendant dutifully agrees, brick sweater, surgical mask on his face. Sometimes inconsistently, in the flowery tirades that characterize him, he claims that he hasneverparticipated in the preparations a few weeks before the attacks. “I didn’t buy guns, I didn’t rent cars, I didn’t sew explosive vests.“.
He also claims for the first time that he spent a day at the end of August in an apartment in Charleroi with his childhood friend Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the coordinator of the terrorist attacks, who at that time was believed by all European intelligence agencies in Syria. “We’re talking about the neighborhood, his family, his trauma.– with a bullet, at the level of the collarbone, showing a hand, – and not with plans of attacks, he insists in response to repeated questions. “I know that serious things will happen“,”that there are many people from my area who went to Syria and returned from there. I know they are not here for sightseeing or shopping.“, he agrees. Otherwise, thingsmuch more seriouswhich he later did.”I will enlighten you next week“, he promises.
“I was scheduled for November 13th”
When it is her turn to ask questions, her lawyer Marie Viollo takes her place at the table facing the court, turns to the box and tells her:you’ve seen your statements, we do what we want with them“. So “we will look at what is in the file, specific elements” she suggests. Mohamed Abrini intervenes. “If I was talking about Abaaoud, it was that we are approaching interrogations on November 13th.“, he justifies. “I’ll tell you, they even scheduled me for November 13th. I plan to talk about it next week“.
Marie Viollo takes a second. Then : “we’re moving forward a little. We’re making a lot of progress“But we won’t know more: the sometimes frustrating schedule of hearings set by the court cuts off the interrogations of the defendants in chronological order. The final preparations for the attacks and the evening of November 13 will not be discussed until March 29 – starting with the interrogation of Mohamed Abrini.”We expect a lot from next week, so“concludes President Jean-Louis Perrier.
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