At the trial of the November 13 attacks, a lawyer offers a new version of the story of the Bataclan massacre

The lawyers of the civil parties, before the special assize court of Paris.

We were slowly beginning to doze off at the end of the day of hearing, Tuesday, May 24, when the deep and assured voice of a young lawyer pulled the public out of their torpor. Since Monday, a string of black dresses have been parading at the bar of the trial of the November 13 attacks to engage in an imposed figure of the assizes: the pleadings of civil parties. For two days now, lawyers have more or less happily taken part in this exercise, of which we don’t generally expect much and which must be spread over two weeks.

To limit redundancies, and avoid drowning the memory of the victims in the ocean of some 2,400 civil parties to this trial, their 370 lawyers had the foresight to divide themes (radicalization, misappropriation of religion, mourning, memory…) with unequal success. In the mosaic of choral pleadings that is taking shape, at the rate of about fifteen lawyers a day, all styles have followed one another at the bar: lyrical, academic, emphatic, off-topic, modest, literary…

Tuesday was devoted to the evocation of the sites targeted by the attacks. Fifteen lawyers had already spoken when the long silhouette of Me Hugo Lemont, 34, planted himself in front of the microphone. In eight months of trial, we had never heard his voice. From the first sentences, the tone of his argument is given: precise, nervous and ambitious. The lawyer intends to take some liberties with the imposed figure: he proposes nothing less than to correct the account of the Bataclan massacre which imposed itself at the hearing, regretting the “too partial work carried out during the investigation”.

“False Claims”

At the start of the trial, a myriad of testimonies, inevitably fragmented, sometimes contradictory, had sketched out the main lines of the course of the attack. But a feeling of vagueness remained on certain points. Relying on “objective procedural elements” – ballistic expertise and audio recordings from the Bataclan –, Me Lemont wants “specify, even contradict” some ” affirmations erroneous” listed in the indictment.

This major piece of the file, which summarizes in 348 pages the six years of this pharaonic investigation, explains that two terrorists climbed onto the balcony at the start of the killing, while the third, Samy Amimour, would have remained on the ground floor. . The lawyer will strive to demonstrate that the three terrorists actually went upstairs, a fact that has never been mentioned in eight months of hearings. “The voices and bullets of the assassins help determine the path they took”he says boldly.

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