Strasbourg Christmas market attack trial: who are the 4 accused?

The trial for the 2018 Strasbourg attack opens this Thursday, February 29, 2024, in Paris.

Strasbourg Christmas market attack trial: who are the 4 accused?

The trial for the 2018 Strasbourg attack opens this Thursday, February 29, 2024, in Paris. Four men are in the dock. The attacker was shot dead after 48 hours of tracking.

This Thursday, February 29, 2024, the trial of the Strasbourg attack perpetrated on December 11, 2018 opens before the specially composed Paris Assize Court. Four men are being tried for acts of complicity in a criminal association linked to with the deadly attack committed by Chérif Chekatt, shot dead by the police after 48 hours of tracking. Around sixty civil parties were formed for this trial. Victims and witnesses of the attack will be asked to take the stand. The trial will end on April 5.

On the evening of December 11, 2018, a 29-year-old man, Chérif Chekatt, appeared in the heart of the Strasbourg Christmas market and coldly shot five people dead in ten minutes. He shouted “Allah Akbar” while opening fire on passers-by. Eleven other people were injured. He then fled in a taxi. The driver of the vehicle, Mostafa Salhane, managed to convince the attacker to stop for treatment before taking advantage of the latter's moment of inattention to flee.

Chérif Chekatt was able to be located in the Neudorf district, thanks to information from the taxi driver. His run had lasted 48 hours despite the colossal means deployed to find him with no less than 650 law enforcement officers and several helicopters. After two days of tracking and anguish, Chérif Chekatt was shot dead after once again opening fire on a police patrol. A repeat offender, Chérif Chekatt had already been convicted 20 times in France for common law offenses and was listed as S for Islamist radicalization. The attack was claimed the next day by the Islamic State group.

Subsequently, 5 men were indicted for having provided weapons to the attacker, including an 1892 revolver used during the attack. The judges only retained the “terrorist” qualification for one of them, Audrey Mondjehi, 42 years old, former co-detainee of Chérif Chekatt and main accused in this case. He is on trial for complicity in murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise and was previously placed in pre-trial detention.

He faces life imprisonment. “He played an indispensable role in providing a weapon” to the assailant by putting him in contact with people who sold him weapons, while he “could not ignore, or even shared, everything or part of the radical convictions of Chérif Chekatt" indicates the magistrates' order consulted by AFP.

The three other defendants were referred to court for criminal conspiracy to commit one or more crimes. They each face up to 10 years in prison. Aged 34, 37 and 39, they are suspected of having participated in the supply of weapons. They were placed under judicial supervision pending trial. On the other hand, there is currently nothing to confirm that these three people were aware of Chérif Chekatt's terrorist project at the material time.