In a verdict that concluded a lengthy trial held before a special court in Paris, a 42-year-old man, Mondjehi, was acquitted of complicity in the “terrorist murders” stemming from the 2018 Strasbourg Christmas market attack.

Mondjehi, who is of Ivory Coast origin, was the main defendant among four accused of aiding Cherif Chekatt, the Islamist militant responsible for the heinous assault.

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Prosecutors alleged that Mondjehi facilitated Chekatt in obtaining a firearm used in the attack, which claimed the lives of five individuals, including a Thai tourist and an Italian journalist, and left 11 others injured.

Chekatt was subsequently killed by law enforcement after a 48-hour manhunt. During the trial, Mondjehi expressed remorse and conveyed his shock over Chekatt’s actions, stating, “I would never have thought that he would have done that; I never thought that he was radicalised.”

He maintained that he was unaware of Chekatt’s plans and insisted that he should not be convicted of terrorism. The court ultimately ruled in favour of Mondjehi, stating that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had knowledge of the intended use of the weapon he helped obtain.

While Mondjehi admitted to his involvement in acquiring the firearm, the court concluded that he did not have prior knowledge of Chekatt’s terrorist intentions.

Two other men implicated in the case were found guilty of playing minor roles in assisting Chekatt and received prison sentences of up to five years. However, a third defendant was acquitted.

This trial is the latest in a series of legal proceedings related to jihadist attacks in France since 2015.

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The country has grappled with the aftermath of multiple terrorist incidents, including the 2016 attack in Nice, where an Islamist drove a truck into a crowd, claiming 86 lives, and the coordinated attacks in Paris in November 2015, which resulted in the deaths of 130 people.

The verdict in Mondjehi’s case underscores the complexities involved in prosecuting individuals suspected of complicity in terrorist acts.

While acknowledging Mondjehi’s role in obtaining the weapon used in the attack, the court highlighted the importance of establishing intent and knowledge in terrorism-related cases.

As France continues to confront the threat of terrorism, legal proceedings serve as a means of seeking justice for victims and holding individuals accountable for their actions.

The outcome of Mondjehi’s trial reflects the rigorous examination of evidence and the adherence to principles of justice in addressing acts of terror within the country.

 

This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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