Paris attacks trial to be paused after main suspect catches Covid-19

A court sketch shows Salah Abdeslam during a trial on Nov 2, 2021. The trial will be paused as he has caught Covid-19. PHOTO: AFP
The Bataclan cafe in Paris on Nov 11. Armed extremists killed some 90 people on the night of Nov 13, 2015. PHOTO: AFP
French police with protective shields near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris on Nov 14, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - The trial of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the November 2015 Islamist attack that killed 130 people in Paris, and others will be paused briefly in January as Abdeslam has caught the coronavirus, a judicial source told Reuters on Friday (Dec 31).

The criminal trial will resume as scheduled next Tuesday, but will then be officially suspended until Jan 13, the source said.

French news agency AFP earlier reported on the planned suspension, citing an e-mail sent to the parties by the court's president.

Abdeslam, 31, is believed by prosecutors to be the only surviving member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cell that carried out the gun-and-bomb attacks on bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the Stade de France stadium on Nov 13, 2015.

The trial, which began in September in a specially designed courtroom at Paris' historical Palace of Justice, is one of the most complex - and most closely followed - in modern French history.

No verdict is expected until May 2022.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.