After more than five years since the attack on Charlie Hebdo by Islamic extremists that left 17 people dead, the French satirical magazine has republished the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as the trial begins.
Today, 14 people involved in the deadly shooting went on trial for their part in aiding the three men, who were all killed by police, that murdered eight editorial staff members of the magazine back in early 2015. Since then, investigators in the case have retraced the events that ultimately led to the shooting at the Paris office, as well the Jewish supermarket two days after that was also linked in the attacks.
Coinciding with the start of the trial, Charlie Hebdo republished some of the cartoons that prompted the attack from the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly, alongside the headline, “Tout ça pour ça,” which translates to “All that for this.” Now operating in secrecy in a guarded location, the magazine and its team of journalists continue receiving threats over their work, but in the new edition that features the reprinted images of Mohammed, they vowed “We will never give in. And we will never give up.”
The group on trial faces a host of charges, such as providing support or funding, weapons and helping the attackers to flee the scene of the shootings, all face sentences ranging from 10 years to life in prison. Three of the accused are absent from the trial, presumed to have been killed in Syria or involved with ISIS there, but the other 11 will face a historic terrorism trial in France that will be filmed for posterity.
Expected to end on November 10th, the trial will run for 11 weeks with a total of 144 witnesses and 14 experts involved over its course. Marie-Laure Barré and Nathalie Senyk, two lawyers representing the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack, said in a statement to the French news agency AFP that, “This trial is an important moment for them. They are waiting for justice to be done, to find out who did what, knowing that those who pulled the trigger are no longer there.”