Two life sentences accompanied by a security sentence of twenty-two years and a sentence of thirty years of criminal imprisonment accompanied by a two-thirds security sentence were requested, Thursday, June 23, by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT ) against the three defendants judged by the specially composed assize court for having attempted to blow up a residential building on rue Chanez, in the 16e arrondissement of Paris, on the night of September 29 to 30, 2017.
The two life sentences are for Aymen Balbali, 34, and his cousin Sami Balbali, 37, against whom a permanent ban from French territory has also been requested. As for Amine Abbari, 35, the required sentence is the highest possible for “criminal terrorist conspiracy”.
The rue Chanez attack could have been one of the most serious in the capital if the 70 liters of petrol and the four gas canisters stored in stairwell A had exploded as planned. But the firing device, operated by a mobile phone, did not work despite nine attempts to call. Rather than a failed attack, the two Advocates General preferred to speak of a “attack nine times consummated” in order to highlight the seriousness of the facts.
Neither the investigation file nor the hearing made it possible to determine why the device did not work. It was a resident who woke up at 4:20 a.m. who took the gas canisters out of the building and caused the escape of two terrorists posted in the street. The file and the hearing could not explain either why this building, opulent but anonymous, was targeted. Same mystery on the absence of claim and sponsor.
The DNA fingerprints of the two Balbali cousins, found on the buckets of gasoline, form the main material clue, as well as a whole bunch of preparatory acts such as the purchase of chips and telephones, gasoline and gas. Not to mention the administrative tapping carried out by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) on their conversations. Exceptionally, the intelligence service has declassified the tapping of the last forty-eight hours, without anyone knowing when this telephone spinning started, which did not prevent a passage to the act.
Despite their very different attitude at the hearing, the Advocates General decided that Aymen and Sami Balbali formed a complementary duo: “It’s a common project, carried out together. » At the hearing, Aymen Balbali was alternately provocative, angry or laughing, refusing to stand up in front of the court and invoking his right to silence to immediately get out and launch into confused explanations on points of detail. Conversely, Sami Balbali, polite and composed, willingly answered questions but to deny any involvement in a terrorist enterprise.
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