Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The attacks, claimed by ISIS, have killed 130 people and injured 494 across the French capital, in bars, restaurants, a concert hall and near the famous Stade de France stadium, where a football match was held.

Abdeslam, 32, was found guilty on all five counts. He is only the fifth person in France to be sentenced to life without parole since his legalization in 1994.

Although Abdeslam was one of the 20 defendants, he was the only defendant accused of carrying out the most physically deadly attacks France had ever seen in peacetime.

Other suspects were charged with less serious crimes, such as helping to provide the attackers with weapons or vehicles. Six were tried in absentia.

Of the defendants, 19 were found guilty on all charges, and one, Farid Kharkhach, was convicted on a less serious charge than he had originally been charged. The remaining 13 defendants in the courtroom received prison terms ranging from 2 to 30 years for their crimes.

Abdeslam did not react to the verdict. Kharkhach, who received the lightest sentence, wept when he heard the sentence.

According to the French Ministry of Justice, the sentences are the culmination of a lengthy trial that began on September 8, 2021, involving more than 330 lawyers and about 1,800 civilians. The trial took place in a purpose-built courtroom at the Palais de Justice in central Paris.

The court heard evidence from first responders who described the horrors they had witnessed in the Bataclan concert hall and in bars and restaurants throughout the city. Survivors spoke of their desperation trying to hide from the terrorists, and family members of the victims recalled how their anxiety turned to grief when they learned of the death of their loved ones.
Abdeslam, who was arrested in 2016, spoke publicly for the first time at the beginning of the trialdefiantly declaring himself an “Islamic State soldier”, upsetting some of the survivors who took his words as a threat.
Abdeslam later apologized to the victims and stated that he had not killed anyone.

He says he chose not to blow up his explosive vest, and on the final day of the hearing in the case, he urged the court not to pass a harsh sentence on him: “I was wrong, it’s true, but I’m not a killer, I’m not a killer,” he said.

Many of the survivors and families of those who died hope to get on with their lives after a lengthy legal battle.

Life for Paris, the main organization for survivors and victims’ families, announced on Tuesday that the organization will begin to wind down and eventually close on November 13, 2025, the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

“(Dissolution) is also for us to return to a certain form of normalcy, of our own free will, away from the public eye,” the group said in a statement.

This story has been updated.

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