MAN ACQUITTED OF HARBOURING PARIS ATTACKERS
PARIS A French court acquitted a man charged with harbouring Islamic extremists after they carried out the 2015 Paris attacks, bringing a surprising end Wednesday to the first criminal trial from the country’s deadliest extremist violence since the Second World War.
The presiding judge said the Paris court found Jawad Bendaoud, 31, a confirmed street criminal, not guilty of providing lodging to two of the attackers and helping them hide from police when they were the most-wanted criminals in France.
Addressing Bendaoud at a verdict hearing, Judge Isabelle Prevost-Desprez said the evidence was “insufficient to prove your guilt.”
Bendaoud blew kisses to the public and his lawyers upon hearing of his acquittal. He faced up to six years in prison if he was convicted of harbouring terrorists.
Bendaoud denied knowing the identity of the men to whom he rented a small flat in Saint-Denis.