04:59 GMT06 May 2021
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    In January 2015 two French Muslim brothers barged into the head office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, killing 11 people including the editor, Stéphane Charbonnier. The terrorists - who also killed a police officer - were later gunned down along with an associate who carried out a murderous attack at a Jewish supermarket.

    Fourteen people have gone on trial in Paris accused of assisting Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, the two jihadist gunmen who stormed Charlie Hebdo's offices in the Rue Nicolas-Appert on 7 January 2015.

    The Kouachi brothers were eventually killed by anti-terrorist forces after a manhunt.

    A few days a former prison buddy of the brothers, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a police officer and then three customers and an employee during a siege at a kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes district. Coulibaly was later shot by police.

    Hayat Boumeddiene (left) is now a fugitive after her partner, Amedy Coulibaly (right) carried out an attack on a Paris supermarket in 2015.
    © AFP 2021 / -
    Hayat Boumeddiene (left) and her partner, Amedy Coulibaly

    Because of its historical importance the trial in Paris - which is due to last until 10 November - is being videotaped for the national archives. So who are the 14 on trial?

    Ali Riza Polat

    Prosecutors say Ali Riza Polat, 35, was the link man between the Charlie Hebdo attack and the Jewish supermarket siege.

    Polat, who is of Kurdish origin, allegedly bought the weapons which were used by Coulibaly and the Kouachis and later tried to flee to Daesh-controlled Syria via Dubai and Lebanon.

    The front cover of Charlie Hebdo's Christmas 2019 edition, on sale in Paris.
    © Sputnik / Chris Summers
    Charlie Hebdo's Christmas 2019 edition

    BFMTV says Polat was convicted of selling drugs in the southern Paris suburb of Grigny in 2007 and became a convert to radical Islam while in prison around May 2014.

    A close friend of Coulibaly, he faces life in prison if convicted.

    Mickaël Pastor Alwatik

    Mickaël Pastor Alwatik, from the Paris suburb of Epinay-sur-Seine, has been tied by the prosecution to two guns and a glove used by Coulibaly.

    Customers chat in front of the Hyper Cacher during its reopening, in Paris, France, Sunday, March 15, 2015.
    © AP Photo
    Customers chat in front of the Hyper Cacher during its reopening, in Paris, France, Sunday, March 15, 2015.

    His DNA was found on a Tokarev semi-automatic pistol and a revolver found at Coulibaly's home and a glove the gunman used at the Hyper Cacher scene. 

    Alwatik is believed to have met Coulibaly while they were at Villepinte remand centre, in north Paris. He has reportedly told police Coulibaly showed him Daesh videos from Iraq and Syria but denies being a jihadist himself.

    Mohamed Fares 

    Mohamed Fares, 31, has reportedly admitted to police he was a middleman who arranged for the sale of a Tokarev T33 assault rifle used by Coulibaly but has denied knowing what he planned to do with the gun.

    Fares, from Lille, was only arrested in March 2018 after an investigating magistrate received an anonymous tip-off by email.

    Amir Ramdani 

    Amir Ramdani also met Coulibaly at Villepinte remand prison and there is evidence they met frequently between October 2014 and the attacks in January 2015.

    Ramdani met Coulibaly on 6 January, only hours before the attack, but has told police he owed him 200 euros.

    Samir Makhlouf 

    Samir Makhlouf - sometimes referred to as Saïd - was also a friend of Coulibaly’s and his DNA was found on a Taser which the terrorist had on him during the supermarket siege. Makhlouf says he cannot explain why his DNA was on the Taser.

    Willy Prevost

    Willy Prevost, 34, had been a friend of Coulibaly since childhood and lent him the motorcycle he used in the assassination of Paris police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe.

    Prevost and Coulibaly both grew up in the Grigny neighbourhood and met up again after the latter was released from prison in 2014.

    Coulibaly had prevailed on Prevost to buy a Renault Scénic van, the vehicle he used to travel to the Hyper Cacher supermarket.

    Christophe Raumel 

    Christophe Raumel, 30, only knew Coulibaly through their mutual friend, Prevost.

    The pair bought bulletproof vests, a knife and a Taser together and handed them over to Coulibaly but Raumel has said he thought he was planning to use them in a heist, not a terrorist attack. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

    Metin Karasular

    The owner of a garage in Belgium, Metin Karasular is accused of supplying “assault rifles, rocket launchers, ammunition and bulletproof vests” to Coulibaly and the Kouatchis.

    Karasular claims to have links to the Kurdish nationalist PKK group and insists he had no sympathy with jihadists.

    Michel Catino

    Michel Catio, a 60-year-old unemployed Italian national, is accused of assisting Karasular to supply the weapons.

    Miguel Martinez 

    A garage owner in Charleville-Mézières, north-eastern France, is also accused of being involved in the supply chain. Martinez reportedly converted to Islam 20 years ago.

    Abdelaziz Abbad 

    Abdelaziz Abbad, who has been separately convicted of an unrelated murder, is accused of assisting Martinez.

    Hayat Boumeddiene

    Coulibaly’s partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, is being tried in absentia.

    Boumeddiene, now 32, married Coulibaly in an Islamic ceremony in 2008.

    Hayat Boumeddiene, the suspected female accomplice of the Islamist militants behind the attacks in Paris, is seen upon her arrival to Turkey in this still image taken from surveillance video at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul on January 2, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Haberturk Newspaper via Reuters TV
    Hayat Boumeddiene, the suspected female accomplice of the Islamist militants behind the attacks in Paris, is seen upon her arrival to Turkey in this still image taken from surveillance video at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul on January 2, 2015.

    She participated in a number of vehicle scams which helped to finance the 2015 attacks.

    Boumeddiene reportedly fled to Syria, via Madrid and Istanbul, in the wake of the attacks.

    She appeared in the Daesh propaganda magazine Dar-Al-Islam, saying: "Muslims are not humiliated here."

    Reports last year suggested she had been killed in a US air strike but she was later seen at a camp where former Daesh members were being held.

    She later fled the al-Hol camp and remains the subject of an international arrest warrant. She faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

    The Belhoucine brothers

    Mohamed Belhoucine and his brother Mehdi are also being tried in absentia.

    The brothers are believed to have been killed while fighting with Daesh in Syria or Iraq. Mohamed Belhoucine provided email addresses which were used by some of the other defendants.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    Daesh, 2015 attacks, Charlie Hebdo attack, Paris, France
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