Ladislas Wedrychowski, lawyer for the parents of a Bataclan victim during the attacks of November 13, 2015

Maître Ladislas Wedrychowski and the collaborators of his Orleans office take turns to follow the hearings of the special assize court responsible for judging the perpetrators or accomplices of the attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris. For more than five weeks, the victims of the Stade de France, the terraces, and the Bataclan, followed one another, to testify at the bar. An essential moment according to him.

How to account to these parents who follow from afar, in particular because of their age, this very particular trial, and these testimonies of the victims who have succeeded?

With seven lawyers from my firm, we have taken turns since September 8 to listen to all these victims who have come to testify at the bar of the special assize court in Paris. It is obviously impossible to report on all of these testimonies on a daily basis. I think my clients are physically and emotionally unable to hear all of these testimonies. What they want is representation. This trial is an essential moment which allowed us to understand, in the slightest detail and from the angle of the victims, of course, the course of the attacks. We try somehow to be able to report to them what is happening, but it is emotionally very complicated.

Why is this sequence necessary? Is it finally a question of making the reality of this November 13 in everyone’s mind?

What we can see through these testimonies is that this insight was essential. At the end of an investigation which was tedious and very long and very technical, I think that it was also necessary to bring a little humanity in this file and in this investigation. Until now, we had had the written testimonies of these victims, but I think that we also had to hear them and see what they obviously had to say about their November 13th. The synthesis that can be made is that in the end, there were as many November 13 as victims through the more than 200 civil parties who chained themselves to the bar of the Assize Court. But we realized that there were ultimately so many different perceptions, with an accumulation of course of devastated people, a lot of emotions, horrors evoked as it is unimaginable. With, in the end, anger, incomprehension, but also a lot of humanity. That’s what really comes out of these testimonials. There is always somewhere this humanity which overcomes all the tests.

Much has been said about the value of this sequence of the trial for the victims, what importance does it have for society?

The value for society is that I think that through all the reports that have been made of this trial, it has also opened our eyes and seen that, beyond what all the reports that have been seen by the spectators or all the articles that have been read, well, we realize how much our society, in all its components, has been affected by these attacks. Because we saw old people, young people who were obviously on the terraces and families, children who came to testify, teenagers who came to testify, but who were children at the time of these attacks. I think it was good to have that word, to hear it. And then, too, we hope that these words, which were pronounced with great emotion before the Assize Court, were heard by all the defendants and that finally, in the second period which will arrive in this trial, we can hear the reaction of these defendants on all these testimonies.

This is the continuation of this trial of the Paris attacks, now. First the personality of the accused, and then the facts themselves?

The facts themselves have obviously already been mentioned a little since September 8 through the hearing of several investigators who intervened at the Stade de France, the Terrasses and the Bataclan. Yesterday, there was also the hearing of police officers from the BAC who intervened in the Bataclan. Yes, from next week begins the hearing of the defendants on their personality. And then also, personalities who were in office at the time of the attacks to give their vision also of their November 13th.

Leave a Comment