Parisian assassin Salah Abdeslam sentenced to life in prison without parole

The attacks, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, killed 130 people and injured 494 across the French capital – in bars, restaurants, in a concert hall and in front of the famous Stade de France, where a football match was taking place.

Abdeslam, 32, was found guilty on all five counts. He is only the fifth person in France to be sentenced to life in prison without parole since legalization in 1994.

Although Abdeslam was one of 20 accused, he was the only defendant accused of physically carrying out the deadliest attacks France has ever seen in peacetime.

The other suspects were charged with minor offenses, such as helping the attackers obtain weapons or cars. Six were tried in absentia.

Of the defendants, 19 were found guilty on all counts, while one – Farid Kharkhach – was convicted on only two counts. The other 13 defendants in the courtroom received prison terms ranging from 2 to 30 years for their crimes.

Abdeslam did not seem to react to his verdict. Kharkhach, who received the lightest sentence, cried after hearing his verdict.

The verdicts are the culmination of a lengthy trial that began on September 8, 2021 and has involved more than 330 lawyers and some 1,800 civil parties, according to the French Justice Ministry. The trial took place in a purpose-built courtroom in the Palais de Justice in central Paris.

2015 Paris Terror Attacks Fast Facts
The trial heard testimony from first responders who described the horrors they witnessed at the Bataclan concert hall and in bars and restaurants across the city. Survivors spoke of their desperation as they tried to hide from the terrorists, and family members of those killed recalled how their fear turned to sadness when they learned of their loved one’s death.
Abdeslam, who was arrested in 2016, spoke publicly for the first time early in the trial and defiantly declared himself a “soldier of the Islamic State,” angering some survivors who took his words as a threat.
Abdeslam later apologized to the victims and claimed that he did not kill anyone.

He said he chose not to detonate his explosive vest and on the last day of the hearing in the case urged the court not to give him a harsh sentence: “I made mistakes, that’s true, but I’m not Killer, I” I’m not a killer,” he said.

Many of the survivors and the families of those who died hope to be able to get on with their lives after the lengthy legal process.

Life for Paris, the main organization for survivors and victims’ families, announced Tuesday that the organization will begin to disband and eventually close on November 13, 2025, the ten-year anniversary of the attacks.

“(The dissolution) also serves us to return to a certain form of normality of our own free will, far from public attention,” the group said in a statement.