Trial of November 13: “Even the word radicalized, I did not know it”, says the “driver” of Salah Abdeslam


Kim was summoned before the Paris Assize Court as a witness. She is the wife of Mohamed Amri, one of Salah Abdeslam’s drivers who brought him back on November 14, 2015 in the early morning, from Paris to Brussels. But she didn’t come to talk about that, or at least not only. She is a witness. It must therefore allow the court, which has been questioning the 14 defendants at the November 13 trial since the beginning of January, to hear another voice about Mohamed Amri, to approach the husband, the confidant, the man.

All blonde, looking much younger than her age (31), this Dutch-speaking childcare worker (she specifies this to be forgiven in advance for mistakes in French that she will not make) begins. Converted to Islam at 17, she married at 23, after meeting Mohamed Amri, a year older than her, with friends. For her, her husband, whom she still loves and waits for, is someone “extremely nice and helpful, and who has a lot of compassion” ; “We abused his naivety and his kindness. »

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November 13 trial: the silence of the “logistician” of the attacks

“He knows it’s very serious”

But she is not naive. She knew that at the Café des Beguines, he was surely smuggling to pay for his consumption of narcotics. “For me, he was just a heavy consumer of soft-drug. Weed, hash, anything you can smoke. » She didn’t really see the money he earned, working as a black waiter at the Café des Beguines, or during his raids at the Samu social. But it is formal: hash yes, terrorism no, never.

“What happened in Paris, I find it appalling. Him, I think he knows that it is very serious what happened. If he had known, he would never have jeopardized the plans we had. »

So he would never have gone to get Salah Abdeslam.

Kim is a witness, no one is forced to believe her, but the court has a duty to listen to her in any case. And not to accuse her or bully her. However, like many other witnesses before her – fathers, brothers, relatives of the accused – she is forced to justify herself. She’s not guilty, no… but probably too light. The questions suggest it.

November 13 trial: Muhammad Usman, the suicide bomber who did not want too “big” an attack

For example, on the morning of November 14, Amri came home at noon instead of 7 or 8 am. Kim says she didn’t ask questions.

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“He told me he had gone to find a friend. »

One of the two assessors becomes suspicious: “Your husband comes home at noon, when he should have been there in the early morning and you don’t ask him questions? »

“I trust him, without trust we can’t do anything!” »

A violent husband?

Kim says she cooked eggs for her husband, again at noon on November 14, that he looked tired, that they didn’t talk about the Paris attacks. A little later, a lawyer for the civil party, Me Catherine Szwarc, returned to the episode of the eggs:

“There have been attacks of incredible intensity and he eats eggs! »

Kim doesn’t answer much. There is not much to answer. But she is not destabilized. Unlike other less well-armed, more intimidated witnesses, Kim has some backing. The Advocate General is, for example, trying to find out whether this “good husband” was violent. He doesn’t have much in his tablets to prove it, except for a neighbor who reportedly said so.

“We are a mixed couple, in some people it gives rise to reflections. We lived in a seniors’ residence. We had a neighbor who is a bit of a nuisance if you can put it that way. He could have told her sometimes “VSit’s none of your business, Yes. »At the November 13 trial: Mohamed Abrini, the man who knows

Always to prove the occasional violence of the accused – one wonders the link with his potential radicalization or the Paris attacks – the questions are linked, on the side of the civil parties. Didn’t Kim say during her auditions that her husband sometimes said hurtful words to her? Didn’t he kick the bed one day?

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“It was an Ikea bed, it’s fragile. » Kim cried at the start of her audition. The arrest and detention of her husband reduced her life to nothing. There, faced with these questions, he sometimes laughs. “We didn’t live together before our marriage, it took a period of acclimatization (sic). »

Question tone alert

She will then have to explain that her husband never forced her to wear the veil. She sometimes wore it before meeting him, then occasionally at the start of their marriage, then not at all. No, he was not radicalized. The court persists, it resists, with common sense and leaves.

Then Mohamed Amri is interrogated. It says the same thing, but less clearly. No, he was not radicalized. He did not know the projects of the Abdeslam brothers, who completely concealed their radicalization from him.

“Even the word radicalized, or taqiya, these are not words that I knew before my detention”, he says.

He also says : “What my wife says is true. »

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At the November 13 trial: Barbarity in the basement

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Other defendants did not have this kind of testimony to support their statements: many witnesses declined the summons to the Assize Court this week. “I would like to alert everyone to the tone of the questions put to the witnesses”, has also rightly noted Me Olivia Ronen, lawyer for Salah Abdeslam.

The interrogations of the defendants, and with them the hearing of numerous witnesses, should continue next week.



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