A 30-year prison sentence required against the jihadist duo

The prosecution requested on Wednesday a sentence of thirty years of criminal imprisonment accompanied by a two-thirds security period against Clément Baur and Mahiedine Merabet, tried before the special assizes for a planned attack in Marseille during the 2017 presidential campaign.

“It was a close call for the city of Marseille to experience a mass killing,” said the attorneys general in their two-voiced requisitions.

They asked the court for “a sentence commensurate with the dangerousness” of the two accused, “in solidarity and who support each other”.

The “act” of Clément Baur and Mahiedine Merabet was “imminent”, assured the representatives of the prosecution. The “searches for potential targets” carried out in the days preceding their arrest, in Marseille on April 18, 2017, five days before the first round of the presidential election, constitute proof, according to them, that the two men were ready to commit “carnage “.

“We were in a game”

Among the searches carried out on the internet by the two men, who knew each other in prison, there were notably: “gay sauna”, “libertine club”, “bar FN”, “meeting Le Pen Marseille”, “American bar”, “kosher restaurant”…

“So many targets which met the objectives of the Islamic State,” underlined one of the general lawyers.

Concerning the ten other accused, including one on the run tried in absentia, the prosecution requested two acquittals and demanded sentences ranging from five years, with two to three years of suspended sentence, to 15 years of criminal imprisonment.

During their interrogations, Clément Baur, 30, and Mahiedine Merabet, 36, denied planning an attack.

“We were in a game,” said Mahiedine Merabet while his friend Clément Baur explained that committing an attack “was not a thing” for him.

Very unstable explosive

But the police discovered an impressive arsenal in their hideout, including an Uzi machine gun, several pistols, hundreds of ammunition, bolts, a hunting knife but also more than 3.5 kg of TATP, a homemade explosive popular with jihadists, made by Mahiedine Merabet.

“This is the largest quantity of TATP found in the context of a terrorist case,” noted a general advocate.

A very unstable explosive, TATP was notably used to make the explosive belts of the perpetrators of the November 13 attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis. The two men also acquired a GoPro camera. Enough, according to the prosecution, to commit carnage and film it.

After defense arguments scheduled for Thursday and Friday, the trial is scheduled to end on Saturday.

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