The anti-terrorism prosecution (Pnat) has requested the referral to the special assize court of five men, including Mehdi Nemmouche, in the investigation into the kidnapping of seven Westerners including four French journalists in Syria between 2013 and 2014, said Tuesday. a source familiar with the matter.
In its final indictment signed on March 22 and revealed by the
, the Pnat requires a trial for, in particular, kidnapping, acts of torture and barbarism, in an organized gang and in connection with a terrorist enterprise or complicity.
Among them are Mehdi Nemmouche, 37, nicknamed Abou Omar and sentenced in Belgium to life imprisonment for the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014, the Frenchman Abdelmalek Tanem, 33 and sentenced for having joined Syria in 2012, as well as as the Syrian Kais Al-Abdallah, 39, in pre-trial detention since 2019 in this case.
All three are suspected of having been jailers of the hostages.
Two other suspects were reportedly killed in Syria in 2017: Salim Benghalem, considered the head of detention and the Belgian Oussama Atar, in charge of hostage management and sentenced by default in June 2022 to life imprisonment for having ordered the attacks of November 13 2015.
The requisitions of the Pnat vary according to the acts of which the five men are accused.
We will reserve our observations, our challenges and our means of defense for the trial which will come later
”, reacted to AFP Me Francis Vuillemin, lawyer for Mehdi Nemmouche.
The Pnat requests that the section concerning the involvement of Frenchman Guillaume Kapo, imprisoned since 2019 in northeastern Syria, be disjointed so that the investigations continue.
It is now up to the anti-terrorism investigating judge in charge of the investigations to order a trial or not before the special assize court.
In the preamble to this 332-page indictment of which AFP was aware, the Pnat underlines that "
systematically from April 2013 and the appearance of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
" journalists or humanitarians were removed in this area.
French journalists Didier François, Édouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin and Pierre Torres were kidnapped in June 2013. They shared their detention with two aid workers from the NGO Acted, Italian Federico Motka and Briton David Haines, as well as the journalist Spaniard Marcos Marginedas Izquierdo, also kidnapped in 2013. All were released in 2014, except David Haines who was executed on September 13, 2014. His family filed civil suits in the French judicial investigation.