MAN AC­QUIT­TED OF HAR­BOUR­ING PARIS AT­TACK­ERS

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WORLD -

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.

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