On Monday, the French Special Criminal Court confirmed, in an appeals session, the 30-year prison sentence of the first instance court against the main accused, Ines Madani, in a jihadist cell that tried to blow up a car filled with gas bottles in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 2016. The accused had confessed during the investigation She was charged with the accusation, but confirmed during her trial that she had “changed” and said that she had “repented.” However, the prosecution said it “has not yet strayed very far from extremism.”
After being found guilty of participating in an attempted attack in which she was going to use gas bottles near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in September 2016, the Special Criminal Court (the Court of Appeal) in Paris on Monday sentenced jihadist Ines Madani to 30 years in prison.
The court confirmed the sentence imposed by the Court of First Instance on the 24-year-old woman, but this time it was accompanied by a ban on her release before she had served two-thirds of her sentence.
There was no reaction from Ines Madani, who was nineteen at the time of the incident, after the verdict was read out after five hours of deliberation. The accused confirmed before the court withdrew for deliberation that she had “changed” and said that she was “repentant.”
And her lawyers, Danny Polizzi and Tawfiq Bouznoun, on Friday asked the court to “give some hope” with a sentence “a little under thirty years given her full acknowledgment of her act and her young age.”
On the other hand, the prosecution considered that it is “not possible” to sentence a civilian to “less than thirty years” in prison. And she considered that more than a year and a half after the first trial, she “has not yet strayed far from extremism.”
On the night of September 3-4, 2016, a civilian and another jihadist named Ornella Gillegman, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison, parked a car containing six gas bottles in front of the balcony of a restaurant crowded with customers near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and tried to set it on fire with diesel fuel. Only the choice of this low-flammable fuel prevented an explosion that would have claimed many victims in this tourist area par excellence.
Madani was also charged with attempting to kill a policeman while fleeing. She was arrested with a knife on September 8, 2016 in a Paris suburb.
The Special Criminal Court also sentenced Muhammad Al-Amin Abruz to five years in prison. He was being tried again in another part of the case, on charges of failing to report a terrorist crime. His lawyer, Vincent Brainger, had demanded his acquittal.
Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the center of Paris and its construction began in the twelfth century. It is considered one of the symbols of the French capital and one of the most attractive tourist sites for visitors before the fire that broke out in it in April 2019.