“The law and facts” on one side, geopolitics and “war crimes” on other

The journey and the judicial fate of Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari are intimately linked. Their lawyers, however, adopted diametrically opposed registers in their pleadings.


Everything, since the start of the trial of November 13, seems to link Osama Krayem and Sofien Ayari. Both fought in Syria in the ranks of the Islamic State organization (IS). Both were commissioned for an attack in Europe before taking the road together. Both went, on November 13, 2015, in Amsterdam, where an attack at Schiphol airport was planned. Both finally kept silent during the debates. Against this inseparable duo of combatants, the public prosecutor has also required the same penalties: life imprisonment.

Rarely, however, we will have attended two such dissimilar defense strategies. Monday, June 20, Margaux Durand-Poincloux, lawyer of Osama Krayem, pleaded the file and explored the subtleties of French anti-terrorism legislation. Wednesday, June 22, Isa Gultaslar, defender of Sofien Ayari, ignored the file to speak geopolitical, believing that international humanitarian law, which supervises armed conflicts, was more relevant to judge its client than domestic law.

The file, first. He conceals a subtlety: Krayem and Ayari are tried for “complicity” of the crimes committed in Paris and Saint-Denis when they are accused of having projected an attack on the Netherlands on the same day. The Public Prosecutor’s Office partly bases this qualification on what he calls “interchangeability” of commandos. It does not matter that the attackers were sent to Amsterdam, Saint-Denis or Paris: by accepting their mission, Krayem and Ayari would have “mathematically” strengthened the Parisian commandos by allowing to affect other fighters.

“The facts and the law”


e Durand-Poincloux is far from being convinced by this legal capacity game: “It is an impressionist, closer to Van Gogh at the end of his career than in Renoir.” But let’s admit , she continues, that this presence in the Netherlands can be considered as an act of complicity: “What do we know about this alleged Schiphol attack? They go to Amsterdam by Eurolines. You know, these buses filled with white rastas Who will buy shit and have 100%of the time controlled. And they take this bus to commit an attack? “

 Margaux Durand-Poincloux, lawyer for Osama Krayem, at the Paris Special Assize Court, June 22, 2022. Margaux Durand-Poincloux, lawyer of Osama Krayem, at the Paris Special Assize Court, June 22, 2022. Ivan Brun for “Le Monde”

Another incongruity: a member of the terrorist cell, Ahmed Dahmani, took an airplane the day after the attacks at Schiphol airport to be exfiltrated in Syria. “What cell would blow up the day before an exfiltration skillfully organized the airport from which it must be done? , in fact we don’t even know what it is. “

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/Media reports.