Convicted criminals tasked with crafts and knitting during lockdown



Victims of crime have been left outraged after it was revealed convicted criminals spent lockdown knitting scarves and making dog toys as part of their community service.

Those impacted by crimes say it is an insult and fear lenient sentences are on the rise.

Craft criminals

Noel McNamara was dealt a life sentence 29 years ago when his daughter Tracey was murdered.

After his daughter’s killer was released after serving 10 years, Mr McNamara was shocked to learn criminals sentenced to community corrections orders spent the COVID lockdown doing arts and crafts instead.
“I think it’s disgusting. It’s outrageous, it’s an insult to all the victims suffering from these people – what they’ve done,” Mr McNamara told 9News.
Between March and December last year, traditional tasks like rubbish collection, cleaning footpaths and building community gardens were replaced with activities including quilting, knitting scarves, braiding dog leads, assembling planter boxes, sewing bags and sorting donations for op-shops. All items were donated to charities, animal shelters and aged care facilities.
Of the 700,000 community work hours ordered for last financial year, only 65 per cent were completed.
Now there are concerns lenient sentences will become more common as judges grapple with the massive court backlog sparked by the pandemic.

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Victorian government to review quarantine staff after employing well-known convicted perjurer



The Victorian government is reviewing staffing arrangements after a man convicted of perjury was employed in the state’s hotel quarantine program.

Yesterday it came to light Nelly Yoa, who was convicted of perjury in 2019, was employed by COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) which oversees all hotel quarantine.

Government Services Minister Danny Pearson confirmed in Parliament Yoa was an employee who had done some training but did not work a shift.


CQV is now conducting an audit of staff.
“Significant criminal history precludes a person from being employed by CQV.
“All staff are required to declare at that employment process if they’ve been charged or convicted of an offence when applying with CQV,” he said.
Premier Daniel Andrews today said the father-of-three was not part of the contact tracing team.
“I don’t believe he was a contact tracer, he might have worked or had a role for a short time, with CQV and I will refer you to them to provide you with the details,” he said.
Yoa pleaded guilty to perjury and making a false report to police after he lied about a woman threatening him with a knife at his Dandenong home in 2016.

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Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy convicted of corruption, sentenced to prison


Sarkozy’s co-defendants – his lawyer and long-time friend Thierry Herzog, 65, and now-retired magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74 – were also found guilty and given the same sentence as the politician.

The court found that Sarkozy and his co-defendants sealed a “pact of corruption,” based on “consistent and serious evidence”.

The court said the facts were “particularly serious” given that they were committed by a former president who used his status to help a magistrate who had served his personal interest. In addition, as a lawyer by training, he was “perfectly informed” about committing an illegal action, the court said.

Nicolas Sarkozy leaves court after being found guilty of corruption and influence-peddling.Credit:Getty Images

Sarkozy had firmly denied all the allegations against him during the 10-day trial that took place at the end of last year.

The corruption trial focused on phone conversations that took place in February 2014.

At the time, investigative judges had launched an inquiry into the financing of the 2007 presidential campaign. During the investigation they incidentally discovered that Sarkozy and Herzog were communicating via secret mobile phones registered to the alias “Paul Bismuth”.

Conversations wiretapped on these phones led prosecutors to suspect Sarkozy and Herzog of promising Azibert a job in Monaco in exchange for leaking information about another legal case, known by the name of France’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

In one of these phone calls with Herzog, Sarkozy said of Azibert : “I’ll make him move up … I’ll help him.”

Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer and long-time friend Thierry Herzog was also found guilty.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer and long-time friend Thierry Herzog was also found guilty.Credit:AP

In another, Herzog reminded Sarkozy to “say a word” for Azibert during a trip to Monaco.

Legal proceedings against Sarkozy have been dropped in the Bettencourt case. Azibert never got the Monaco job.

Prosecutors have concluded, however, that the “clearly stated promise” constitutes in itself a corruption offence under French law, even if the promise wasn’t fulfilled.

Sarkozy vigorously denied any malicious intention.

He told the court that his political life was all about “giving (people) a little help. That all it is, a little help,” he said during the trial.

The confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and his client was a major point of contention in the trial.

“You have in front of you a man of whom more that 3700 private conversations have been wiretapped … What did I do to deserve that?” Sarkozy said during the trial.

Sarkozy’s defence lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, argued the whole case was based on “small talk” between a lawyer and his client.

The court concluded that the use of wiretapped conversations was legal as long as they helped show evidence of corruption-related offences.

Sarkozy withdrew from active politics after failing to be chosen as his conservative party’s presidential candidate for France’s 2017 election, won by Emmanuel Macron.

He remains very popular amid right-wing voters, however, and plays a major role behind the scenes, including through maintaining a relationship with Macron, whom he is said to advise on certain topics. His memoirs published last year, bestThe Time of Storms, was a bestseller for weeks.

Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.

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His conservative party is suspected of having spent €42.8 million ($66.5 million), almost twice the maximum authorised, to finance the campaign, which ended in victory for Socialist rival Francois Hollande.

In another investigation opened in 2013, Sarkozy is accused of having taken millions from then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to illegally finance his 2007 campaign.

He was handed preliminary charges of passive corruption, illegal campaign financing, concealment of stolen assets from Libya and criminal association. He has denied wrongdoing.

AP

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Francis Greenway, architect and the convicted forger on the Australian $10 note


For anyone with even the vaguest interest in convict-era Australia, the Hyde Park Barracks is an essential visit. Built to house newly-arrived convicts arriving from Britain, it is now an utterly engrossing museum about what those sent to the other side of the world encountered.

But perhaps more remarkable than the tales of skirmishes with indigenous people, grim working conditions and rife corruption is the identity of the man who built the Hyde Park Barracks in the first place.

The name above the door, of course, goes to Lachlan Macquarie – the somewhat egotistical governor of New South Wales who had it commissioned. But the architect was Francis Greenway, a man with clear talent but a chequered past.

Greenway had designed a few buildings around Bristol in his native England, but fell bankrupt in 1809. Three years later he pled guilty to forging a financial document, and was sentenced to death for it. As so often happened in those days, the death penalty was commuted to transportation – and Greenway was sent out to New South Wales for 14 years. He would never return home.

Unlike many of the men shipped out at the same time, however, Greenway wouldn’t see out his term doing back-breaking manual labour. Macquarie had visions for the colony that went far beyond it being a place of punishment for British petty criminals – and to bring it to life, he needed people with skills.

Architects, as can be imagined, were thin on the ground. So Macquarie quickly latched on to Greenway, and after giving him a few relatively menial tasks, set him loose on what is now known as the Macquarie Lighthouse at Dunbar Head in Vaucluse.

The one currently standing is a rebuilt and slightly remodelled version – Greenway’s original was built in a particularly soft sandstone which quickly started to crumble. But the design – slightly phallic with two domed wings either side of the central tower – was easy on the eye and marked a change from the largely utilitarian buildings that had been Sydney’s architectural hallmark thus far.

Greenway was quickly emancipated, and in 1816 was given the job of Acting Civil Architect.

Two-hundred years later, Greenway’s most prominent efforts can be found near each other at the top of Hyde Park. The barracks manages to be both stout and elegant at the same time, while the St James’ church opposite employs many of the same eye-catching techniques, but with a more celestial sense of grace. The trio is completed with the neighbouring courthouse.

The odd thing is that you’d be hard-pushed to recognise them as being by the same architect who designed the Macquarie Lighthouse. And when you stroll down Macquarie Street to the next of Greenway’s buildings, it looks totally different again.

The Conservatorium of Music was originally designed as the stables complex for Government House, and some might argue that making it look like some sort of oversized whimsical castle was a little excessive.

In fact, some did argue that, and it was this sort of OTT indulgence that put paid to both Macquarie’s reign as Governor and Greenway’s mushrooming career. A commissioner was sent out from England to investigate what was happening in the colony, and went out of his way to collect evidence from people with grievances against Macquarie. The powers-that-be in London preferred the idea of Sydney as a deterrent rather than a flourishing city.

With Macquarie gone in 1921, Greenway’s couldn’t fall back on his patron. Unfortunately, he couldn’t fall back on his good nature and charming personality either – Greenway was a notoriously abrasive character with a high opinion of himself and scarcely disguised contempt for the input of anyone who might deign to suggest improvements.

The commissions dried up, and by 1835 he was destitute. He died two years later, and was buried in an unmarked grave near Maitland. No-one knows exactly where he lies.

But Greenway’s legacy lives on in his buildings. Other major efforts include the Obelisk in Macquarie Place and, perhaps most gorgeous of all, St Matthew’s Church in Windsor.

Perhaps more important than the buildings directly traceable to him are the ones that aren’t. Greenway made the case for style and beauty at a time when both were regarded as extravagant luxuries. It would take a while for Australia to come round to agreement, but when Greenway was finally embraced, he was embraced in style.

Fifty years ago, in February 1966, Australia ditched the pound in favour of the Australian dollar. Great Australian figures were required to go on the new bank notes, and Henry Lawson was chosen for the $10 bill. On the other side, however, was Francis Greenway, along with images of several of his public buildings. In 1993 the notes were replaced by new polymer versions, with Greenway and Lawson gone in favour of Banjo Paterson and Dame Mary Gilmore.

It’s probably fair to say Greenway was the first – and probably last – convicted forger to ever be given such an honour.

Trip notes

Touring there

Entry to the The Hyde Park Barracks (sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/hyde-park-barracks-museum) costs $10.

Context Travel (contexttravel.com) offers a historian-led three hour Making of Sydney walking tour for $95.

See also: The eight Sydney highlights most tourists missed

See also: The beautiful home of the worst job in Australian history



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Melbourne man convicted of killing his girlfriend ‘looking for love’ on Elite Singles


A grieving mother has gone public to issue a warning to women after the man convicted of killing her daughter was found looking for love on dating apps.

Charles Evans, 47, has been out on parole for six months after spending two years and eight months for running down his fiance Alicia Lee in a Toyota Hilux in 2017 after she ended their relationship.

A murder charge was downgraded to dangerous driving causing death and fail to render assistance in a deal with prosecutors.

He had previously said: “Mental illness caused her death, not me”.

Upon his release, however, he’s wasted no time looking for a new partner.

On his Eilte Singles profile, Evans wrote he is “enjoying life” and looking for “love, happiness, friendship, chemistry”.

Alicia’s mother Lee is calling for more regulation for who is able to sign up for dating sites.

“It scares me that it’s so easy to get on these sites and start preying again,” she told 7NEWS.

“They should have a regulation for predators and perpetrators.

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Robertson man convicted of sexually assaulting and photographing a ‘comatose’ girl | Goulburn Post


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CONTENT WARNING: Child sexual assault A Robertson man who sexually assaulted and took photographs of a “comatose” teenage girl he met on social media has been sentenced to jail. Jeffrey Robert Henry, 51, a Canadian national from Robertson, appeared at Goulburn District Court from custody on February 12. He pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent, and two charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent. READ ALSO: The crown prosecutor presented to the court that Henry had “sexually penetrated” the 17-year-old while she was “passed out” from alcohol consumption. The crown said Henry had also “posed” and “placed [the victim] in a position where parts of her body were exposed in the photograph” while she was in a “comatose state” . “There is a high degree of exploitation of this [girl] by this man on this occasion,” the crown said. “The photographs are important because they show a sexual interest while she was comatose.” The crown presented to the court that a sexual assault test conducted at Wollongong Hospital found Henry’s DNA, not sperm, in the victim’s genitals. Judge Mark Williams said the incident occurred in February, 2020 after Henry “befriended” the victim through an alias on social media. Judge Williams told the court that four years before the incident Henry created a fake Facebook profile to “talk to young women”. He said the accused used the alias ‘Lauren’ who he claimed lived in Bomaderry. The judge said Henry made contact with the victim through this alias when he responded to her advert for dog walking services. He said Henry then arranged to meet in the South Coast. He said on the day of the offence Henry told the victim Lauren was hungover and couldn’t make it. The judge presented to the court that Henry then bought the underage girl alcohol at a pub before taking her back to his Robertson home. Judge Williams said the accused “sent a message to [the victim] from the Lauren profile encouraging her to have sex with him”. The judge told the court that Henry had “exploited [the victim’s] vulnerability” and “gave her enough alcohol to make her pass out and could not consent”. The judge said when the victim “was distressed” when she woke the next morning. He said the offender then took additional photographs of her in the shower and lent her underwear while she was in a “groggy state”. The judge told the court that Henry told police the next day there was “no intercourse” because he was “too drunk”. Judge Williams said members of Henry’s family had been murdered with an axe in Canada when he was 17-years-old. Barrister Scragg spoke in defence of his client. He said the crown could “not prove beyond reasonable doubt” that Henry had sexually assaulted the girl. He said the DNA found could have been deposited through a towel, the underwear or the bed. Henry was sentenced to three years and two months in prison backdated to the time of arrest. He received a non-parole period of 22 months. If you or anyone you know needs help: In the case of an emergency call Triple Zero 000 We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

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Pair convicted of running illegal Islamic school ‘resumed teaching’


Muslim head and her father carried on teaching despite being convicted of running an illegal £2,500-a-year Islamic school that failed to promote core British values, court hears

  • Nadia and Arshad Ali deny institution they run in Streatham is a full-time ‘school’
  • The father and daughter claim it only offers 18 hours of education per week
  • The pair were convicted nearly 18 months ago following a unique prosecution
  • But they allegedly kept running the school up until March 2020, magistrates told 

A Muslim headteacher and her father carried on teaching despite being convicted of running an illegal Islamic private school that failed to promote core British values, a court has heard. 

Nadia Ali, 39, and Arshad Ali, 74, deny that the Ambassadors High School in Streatham, south London, is a full-time ‘school’ on the basis that it only offers 18 hours of education per week.

They allegedly charged annual fees of £2,500, with 45 children on the roll after setting up the institution in 2018.

The father and daughter were convicted nearly 18 months ago following one of the first prosecutions of its kind.

Magistrates heard the school failed to promote fundamental British values or carry out proper background checks on teachers.

After being handed non-custodial sentences in September 2019, they allegedly continued running the school up until March 2020, when an inspection revealed classes were still being held in the building. 

Nadia Ali, 39 (pictured), and Arshad Ali, 74, deny that the Ambassadors High School in Streatham, south London, is a full-time ‘school’ on the basis that it only offers 18 hours of education per week 

Despite Ofsted flagging almost 300 suspected unregistered schools since 2016, only a handful of cases have ever been brought to court because of the regulator’s limited investigatory powers. 

The pair were not required to attend the hearing today, which was told they will argue their organisation is not a school because it does not provide ‘full-time education.’

Prosecutor Paul Jarvis said: ‘It will come down to whether the institution was providing full-time education to the children, it is then it’s very likely to be a school.’

Tahir Ali, defending, said: ‘The issues are, number one, whether full-time education was being provided.

‘In line with that the crown’s case is going to be that Ambassador High School Ltd was operating as a school.

‘The observations by HMI officers deal with the fact that it feels like a school, looks like a school, has children in it, has classrooms and so on.

‘What is going to be in dispute is the conclusions they come to.

‘Then we move on to whether education was provided above the 18 hours.

‘My friend indicated at a previous trial this was a contentious issue.

‘The prosecution will submit it is a school and Ms Ali will explain why she thinks it isn’t.

Nadia Ali has previously defended Ambassadors High in Streatham, south London, for its 'unique' approach to learning. Pictured is the exterior of the school as it appeared on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme

Nadia Ali has previously defended Ambassadors High in Streatham, south London, for its ‘unique’ approach to learning. Pictured is the exterior of the school as it appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme 

‘There was inspection on March 2 where we say there was another organisation conducting Islamic classes.

‘The crown would say that organisation was sacrosanct with Ambassadors Home School Ltd.

‘The organisation was separate and distinct.

‘So the two fundamental issues are full-time education and the inspection of March 2.’

Nadia Ali and Arshad Ali, both from Streatham, each deny breaching regulation provisions contrary to the Education and Skills Act 2008.

They remain on bail ahead of a two-day trial before magistrates on March 5 and 8.

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Iran executes man convicted of murder as a 16-year-old, drawing UN condemnation



Iran has executed a man who was convicted of murder 12 years ago when he was 16, drawing condemnation from the UN rights office, which said the execution was prohibited under international law.

There was no report of the execution of Mohammad Hassan Rezaiee on Iran’s media and judiciary officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday, the start of the weekend in the country.

He had spent 12 years on death row.

“This is the fourth confirmed execution of a child offender in Iran in 2020,” the UN human rights office said in a statement.

“The execution of child offenders is categorically prohibited under international law and Iran is under the obligation to abide by this prohibition.”

The statement said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet strongly condemned the killing.

“We are also dismayed that this execution took place despite interventions … with the Government of Iran on this issue,” the statement said.

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Earlier this month, Amnesty International called on Iranian authorities to “immediately halt” the execution, calling Rezaiee’s trial “grossly unfair”.

Diana Eltahawy, deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said on the group’s website that Rezaiee was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man in a group fight.

She alleged in the report that he had been convicted based on forced confessions.

Persons convicted of crimes as juveniles have been executed regularly since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Under Iran’s laws, the age for adulthood is determined by puberty, 15 for boys and nine for girls, but a judge is expected to determine the maturity of the defendant in capital punishment cases.

When there is a discrepancy between domestic law and international legal obligations, Iranian authorities have turned to domestic law.

ABC/Reuters



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Trump pardons Paul Manafort and Roger Stone who were convicted in Russia probe | US News


Donald Trump has pardoned his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort – as he continues to offer clemency to associates convicted in the Russia probe.

Mr Trump also pardoned his former adviser Roger Stone and the real estate developer Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, on Wednesday.

Manafort, 70, had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine.

He was also among the first people charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump 2016 election campaign and Russia.

Image:
Roger Stone was convicted in relation to the Russia probe
Charles Kushner, centre, is the father of Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared
Image:
Charles Kushner, centre, is the father of Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared

The presidential pardon means he has been spared serving the bulk of his prison term.

Manafort has thanked Mr Trump in a tweet and later claimed history would show he had accomplished more than any of his predecessors.

Stone, 67, had been sentenced in February for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Mr Trump commuted his sentence in July, a day before Stone was due to begin serving a term of three years and four months.

The president has now pardoned four people convicted in the Russia probe, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Kushner, who was not convicted in relation to the Russia probe, had been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion in 2004.

He also pleaded guilty to witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donations.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Former Trump Campaign aide George Papadopoulos arrives with his wife Simona Mangiante at the U.S. District Court for his sentencing hearing September 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty last year for making a "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement" to investigators during FBI..s probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Image:
George Papadopoulos has been pardoned after he admitted lying to the FBI
Donald Trump and retired General Michael Flynn during the 2016 election campaign
Image:
Donald Trump and retired General Michael Flynn during the 2016 election campaign

Mr Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.

The outgoing US president issued full pardons to 26 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of an additional three people on Wednesday.

Mr Trump has now granted clemency to nearly 50 people – either by pardoning them or commuting their sentences.





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Fugitive widow one of 14 convicted in Charlie Hebdo, kosher market attacks


The January 7-9, 2015 attacks in Paris left 17 dead along with the three gunmen. The 11 on trial in a specially formed terrorism court, all men, formed a loose circle of friends and criminal acquaintances who claimed any facilitating they may have done was unwitting or for more run-of-the mill crime like armed robbery.

One gambled day and night during the three-day period, learning what had happened only after emerging blearily from the casino. Another was a pot-smoking ambulance driver. A third was a childhood friend of the market attacker, who got beaten to a pulp by the latter after going into debt.

It was the coronavirus infection of Polat, described as the lieutenant of the virulently anti-Semitic market attacker, Amédy Coulibaly, that forced the suspension of the trial for a month. Polat’s profane outbursts and insults drew rebukes from the chief judge. A handwriting expert testified it was Polat who scrawled a price list of arms and munitions linked to the attack.

The minimum sentence requested by prosecutors is five years.

Hayat Boumeddiene (left) and Amedy Coulibaly (right).Credit:Reuters

In all, investigators sifted through 37 million bits of phone data, according to video testimony by judicial police. Among the men cuffed behind the courtroom’s enclosed stands, flanked by masked and armed officers, were several who had exchanged texts or calls with Coulibaly in the days leading up to the attack. They described any contacts as normal communications among acquaintances.

Among those testifying were the widows of Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, the brothers who stormed Charlie Hebdo’s offices on January 7, 2015, decimating the newspaper’s editorial staff in what they said was an act of vengeance for its publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad years before. The offices had been firebombed before and were unmarked, and editors had round-the-clock protection. But it wasn’t enough.

In all, 12 people died in that attack. The first was Frédéric Boisseau, who worked in maintenance. Then the Kouachis seized Corinne Rey, a cartoonist who had gone down to smoke, and forced her upstairs to punch in the door code. She watched in horror as they opened fire on the editorial meeting. For years, she harboured paralysing guilt that her life was spared while so many others died.

“I was not killed, but what happened to me was absolutely chilling and I will live with it until my life is over,” she testified.

The next day, Coulibaly shot and killed a young policewoman after failing to attack a Jewish community centre in the suburb of Montrouge. By then, the Kouachis were on the run and France was paralysed with fear.

Authorities didn’t link the shooting to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo immediately. They were closing in on the fugitive brothers when the first alerts came of a gunman inside a kosher supermarket. It was a wintry Friday afternoon, and customers were rushing to finish their shopping before the Sabbath when Coulibaly entered, carrying an assault rifle, pistols and explosives. With a GoPro camera fixed to his torso, he methodically fired on an employee and a customer, then killed a second customer before ordering a cashier to close the store’s metal blinds, images shown to a hushed courtroom.

The first victim, Yohan Cohen, lay dying on the ground and Coulibaly turned to some 20 hostages in the room and asked if he should “finish him off.” Despite the pleas, Coulibaly fired a killing shot, according to testimony from cashier Zarie Sibony.

“You are Jews and French, the two things I hate the most,” Coulibaly told them.

Some 40 kilometres away, the Kouachi brothers were cornered in a printing shop with their own hostages. Ultimately, all three attackers died in near-simultaneous police raids. It was the first attack in Europe claimed by the Islamic State group, which struck Paris again later that year to even deadlier effect.

At the heart of the trial is who helped them and how. Prosecutors said the Kouachis essentially self-financed their attack, while Coulibaly and his wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, took out fraudulent loans. Boumeddiene, the only woman on trial, fled to Syria days before the attack with two other absent defendants, Mohamed et Mehdi Belhoucine. The brothers are believed to be dead.

One witness, the French widow of an Islamic State emir, testified from prison that she’d run across Boumeddiene late last year at a camp in Syria. The French government wants to take no chances of any of the three returning without facing justice. Testifying as a free man after a brief prison term, for reasons both defence attorneys and victims described as baffling, was the far-right sympathiser turned police informant who actually sold the weapons to Coulibaly.

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Three weeks into the trial, on September 25, a Pakistani man steeped in radical Islam and armed with a butcher’s knife attacked two people outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices on Nicolas-Appert street long since vacated by the publication.

Six weeks into the trial, on October 16, a French schoolteacher who opened a debate on free speech by showing students the Muhammad caricatures was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee.

Eight weeks into the trial, on October 30, a young Tunisian armed with a knife and carrying a copy of the Koran attacked worshippers in a church in the southern city of Nice, killing three. He had a photo of the Chechen on his phone and an audio message describing France as a “country of unbelievers”.

AP

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