02.11.2020 Europe

Charlie Hebdo trial delayed after two more defendants test positive for Covid-19

© AP/Francois Mori
LISTEN NOV 2, 2020
© AP/Francois Mori

The trial of those accused of complicity in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack has been delayed for at least a week after two more defendants tested positive for coronavirus.

Fourteen people are on trial, accused of having helped the killers of 12 victims in the attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a female police officer a day later, and four hostages at a Jewish supermarket.

After primary suspect Ali Riza Polat received a Covid-19 diagnosis over the weekend, the presiding judge ordered all those on trial to be tested.

"In view of the health protocols in force requiring isolation of both positive and contact cases, the hearing will not be able to resume this week," Regis de Jorna said in an email sent Sunday to lawyers involved in the case.

The trial had already been suspended until Wednesday following Polat's positive diagnosis, with Jorna telling lawyers the court would not sit again until all the results were in.

Results of two tests still not confirmed

Two further defendants then tested positive, with two others remaining under supervision despite negative results as they were believed to be "contact cases", according to Jorna's email.

The results from the other defendants, detained in Fleury-Merogis prison, are not yet available.

The extended suspension of the hearing will further delay the conclusion of the trial, which opened on 2 September.

Defence lawyers were scheduled to plead on 6, 9, 10 and 11 November with the verdict expected on 13.

France returned to lockdown last week in the latest measure to curb an epidemic that has infected more than 44.5 million people worldwide and killed nearly 1.2 million.

(with AFP)

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