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Charlie Hebdo trial suspended after two more defendants test positive for COVID-19

Charlie Hebdo trial suspended after two more defendants test positive for COVID-19

The street where Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists were gunned down at their offices in 2015 was the scene of a new knife attack this week. (Photo: AFP/Stephane De Sakutin)

PARIS: The trial over the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack has been delayed for at least a week after two more defendants tested positive for coronavirus, the presiding lawyer said.

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.

READ: Charlie Hebdo trial suspended after primary suspect tests positive for COVID-19

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 (Nov 1) 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.

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, are due Monday.

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

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

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

Source: AFP/ad


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