Breaking News

French Court

French Court Sentences Accomplice in Strasbourg Christmas Market Attack to 30 Years in Prison

Paris, April 05, 2024, The Europe Today: In a decisive ruling on Thursday, a French court sentenced one of the key accomplices in the tragic Christmas market attack in Strasbourg to 30 years in prison. The convicted individual, identified as a 42-year-old from the Ivory Coast named Audrey M., was found guilty of aiding the perpetrator in obtaining a firearm for the deadly assault.

Audrey M., along with three others, faced trial in February for their involvement in assisting the attacker, Cherif Chekatt. Chekatt, aged 29, was fatally shot by police following an intense manhunt after he unleashed gunfire on the open-air market in December 2018, resulting in the deaths of five individuals and injuring 11 others.

During the trial, it was revealed that Audrey M. was aware of Chekatt’s radicalization. However, he was not convicted on charges related to “terrorist murders.” The assailant had pledged allegiance to the “Islamic State,” which claimed responsibility for the violence.

Audrey M. maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, expressing sorrow for the victims during his court appearance preceding the verdict.

Among the other accomplices, Christian H. and Frederic B. received sentences of four and five years, respectively, but were not required to serve additional time behind bars due to their lengthy pre-trial detention. Meanwhile, a fourth suspect was acquitted of all charges.

The sentenced accomplices have the option to appeal their prison terms.

The Christmas market in Strasbourg, renowned as one of Europe’s oldest, holds significant cultural and historical value. The city also hosts the European Parliament.

Among the victims of the attack were individuals from various nationalities, including a Thai national on vacation, an Italian journalist who frequented the European Parliament, and an Afghan refugee who had sought refuge in Strasbourg.

Thursday’s ruling brought a mix of emotions for the families of the victims, with one expressing relief and a sense of closure following the court’s decision.

France has grappled with a series of jihadist terror attacks between 2015 and 2018, with several incidents attributed to groups like the IS.