The trial of 14 individuals accused of providing logistical support to the brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi who on January 7, 2015, murdered members of the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and Amedy Coulibaly, who two days later took hostages and killed customers at a kosher supermarket in Paris. The defendants face charges of participating in a terrorist criminal association.
On January 7, 2015, around 11:30 AM, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, armed with rifles and other weapons. They killed 12 people and injured 11. The gunmen identified themselves as members of al-Qaeda. Two days later, their accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, attacked the Hypercacher kosher supermarket where he held 19 hostages and murdered 4, all Jews. The gunman was killed.
A major manhunt of the suspects ended with the brothers Kouachi taking hostages at a signage company in Dammartin-en-Goële on January 9. The brothers were shot dead when they tried to shoot their way out of the building.
On January 11, two million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined in demonstrations across France. The staff of Charlie Hebdo continued with the publication, and the following issue print ran 7.95 million copies in six languages, compared to its typical print run of 60,000 in French.
Eleven of the suspects appeared in court, 10 of them behind bulletproof glass. Three defendants have fled to Syria before the attacks and are being be tried in absentia. If convicted, several defendants face up to 20 years in prison, with one facing a life sentence.
The trial is being held under tight security at Paris Criminal Court, and is expected to last a little less than two months. As many as 140 witnesses are expected to testify.
On Wednesday, Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed in its new weekly edition. The editors suggested they were running the cartoon as evidence. They said the cartoon is “part of History, and one cannot rewrite History, neither can it be erased.”