The Charlie Hebdo trial was further delayed after two more accused Covid-19 positives

CHARLIE-HEBDO-MAIN-SUSPECT

The trial of the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015 has been delayed for at least a week after two more defendants tested positive for coronavirus, the presiding attorney said.

Fourteen people are on trial accused of aiding the murders of 12 victims in the attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a female police officer a day later, and four hostages in a Jewish supermarket.

After primary suspect Ali Riza Polat received a Covid-19 diagnosis over the weekend, the presiding judge ordered that all those on trial be tested.

“Given the current health protocols that require isolation of both positive and contact cases, the hearing will not be resumed this week,” Regis de Jorna said in an email sent Sunday to lawyers involved in the case.

The trial was already suspended until Wednesday after Polat’s positive diagnosis, when Jorna told lawyers that the court would not sit again until all the results were in.

Two additional defendants then tested positive, while two others were under surveillance despite negative results, as they were considered “contact cases,” according to Joran’s email.

The results of the other defendants detained in Fleury-Merogis are expected on Monday.

The extended adjournment of the hearing will further delay the conclusion of the trial, which began on 2 September.

Defense attorneys were scheduled to file on Nov. 6, 9, 10 and 11 with the expected verdict on Nov. 13.

France returned to lockdown last week in the latest measure to curb a disease that has infected more than 44.5 million people worldwide and killed nearly 1.2 million.

(AFP)