“We would have liked to know”: the court faced with the silence of Osama Krayem at the trial of the attacks of November 13

JUSTICE – The interrogation of Swede Osama Krayem, 29 years, came down to questions and readings this Thursday. As he had announced in a letter, the accused did not speak.

Aurélie Sarrot – 2022-02-13T23: 17: 53.662+02: 00

After his refusal to appear since 26 November, he respected his “decision not to ‘express’. This Thursday, at the trial of the attacks of 13 November 2015, Osama Krayem, 29 years, spoke only seven words. To the question of the president of the special assize court Jean-Louis Périès: “Do you have a statement to make?”, the accused, shoulder-length black hair, thick beard under a surgical mask, black sweatshirt, answers: “No” and add: ” I won’t answer questions.”

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The extraordinary trial of the attacks of 13-November

Thursday, January 6, Me Durand-Poincloux, one of his advisers, had read a letter in which he wrote in particular: “At first, I wanted to express myself sea ​​in front of this court (…) I saw how the proceedings were going and I lost hope. No one is looking for the truth, no one is here to understand. (…) We are all pretending, this trial is an illusion”.

This day, therefore, the president was content to read the minutes of the hearing of the accused, asking him all the same questions about religion, his radicalization, his stay in Syria, the Islamic State… “We would have liked to know”, “we would like to know your answer” , he repeated like others several times In vain, the accused made use of his right to silence.

“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth”

Arrested on April 8 2016 in Belgium, Osama Krayem had to to be a suicide bomber of the Brussels metro but had finally given up. He then claimed to have thrown his explosives in a toilet. He was also on the run with Salah Abdeslam in Brussels after the attacks of 11-November.

“On the attacks in France, you say that you find it sad and you say that if there had been no French intervention in Syria, there would have been no attacks in France. You say it’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, that it’s like a response from the Muslims even if you say that you don’t condone the attacks”, reports president. The accused makes no comment.

“You say to your brother: ‘The disbelievers are our enemies, hate them but don’t show it.’ mocking the prophet, is death’. You say that for you the law of the Islamic State is stronger than that made by humans. There, I would like to ask you a question. Silence.

Also read Then Jean-Louis Périès recalls that the accused left for Syria on 16 August 2014, the day after his birthday. He had 22 year. He will return to Europe by the migrant route, via Greece, in mid-September 2016. “You first spoke of humanitarian work and then you said that you had followed a month of religious education and military training. You say that you were recruited by the Islamic State. We would have liked to ask you about the circumstances of this training and to know who you had met on this occasion”, continues the magistrate. No response, again.

Osama Krayem was also identified among the fighters attending the execution of the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, captured by the Islamic State and burned alive in a cage. An unbearable scene that had been filmed.

“He is someone who has a lot of humanity”

How and why this Swede, son of a Syrian and a Palestinian refugee in Sweden, who went to school, who worked, who loved football , the cinema, and seeing friends has it changed in this way? Nor will the accused say anything about it.

His brother and sister who were to come and testify never responded to the summons. In the minutes of the hearing read by the president, his younger brother, Anas, describes him as “a person with a big heart”, “calm, shy, more fearful than adventurous”. His older sister Asma says, she, “that he is nice”, “that he thinks of others, shows respect”, “that everyone loves him”.

The only witness to be heard at the hearing, a volunteer of 57 years old, Pierre-Jean S. He gave French lessons to Osama Krayem in prison in Belgium from March 2017 in spring 2021 before the latter was transferred to France. He too paints the portrait of a man as opposed to a terrorist. Together, they read “a comic strip of Tintin, Broken ear”, then “The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry”. “Apart from the horrible things he has done, Mr. Krayem is someone who has a lot of humanity”, said the witness, provoking strong reactions in the room.

Me Chemla, civil party lawyer, cannot help but react: “You say that Mr. Krayem was full of humanity. How do you explain that when we know the acts he committed?” “A person from the prison told me that Krayem was someone full of humanity. ‘he did it by going to join Syria, the Islamic State.” Then he adds: “I thought a lot about a song by Jean-Jacques Goldman ‘Né en 17 in Leidenstadt’ and these words: ‘Would I have been better or worse than these people?’.” The hearing will resume on Friday at 13h30.

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