Commentary

Absurd: French Court Ordered Compensation for Convicted Bataclan Terrorist

Today in total insanity, the Belgian-born terrorist who may be the only survivor of the terror cell who carried out the 2015 Bataclan attacks in Paris was awarded $560 because his lawyer thought he was under too much surveillance.

According to Newsweek, Salah Abdeslam is a 29-year-old with Islamic State group links who helped provide logistical support for the men who attacked the Bataclan nightclub and the outside of Stade de France on Nov. 13, 2015.

He is currently spending 20 years behind bars on charges stemming from a shootout with police after he was tracked down following a massive manhunt.

French justice minister Jean-Jaques Urvois ordered that Abdeslam be subject to 24-hour-a-day CCTV surveillance in his solitary cell at the Fleury-Mérogis prison since April 2016.

Given that he’s the only surviving terrorist from an attack that killed 130 people and injured roughly 360 others, I don’t think that’s particularly unreasonable.

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His lawyer did, though.

In a new book titled “The Journal of Frank Berton,” which deals with Abdeslam’s lawyer, journalist Elsa Vigouroux revealed that Berton petitioned the court over the level of surveillance, calling it unconstitutional.

And the court agreed.

According to the U.K. Daily Star, the court ruled that the surveillance violated Abdeslam’s right to privacy, awarding him a nominal sum of €500 (approximately $560).

Do you think Salah Abdeslam should be under 24-hour surveillance?

For whatever it might be worth, a court in Versailles eventually canceled the order and Abdeslam would have refused the sum anyhow, according to the excerpt of the book published in France’s Le Figaro.

Now, let’s keep in mind that this wasn’t just someone providing minor logistical support to the terrorists. He helped make the explosives. He drove the terrorists to their targets. He’s also the only member of the cell known to be left. (Alleged 2016 Brussels Airport bomber Mohamed Abrini is suspected of involvement, though his level of complicity hasn’t been established.) Abdeslam engaged in a shootout with police to avoid capture. He was part of an attack that triggered a three-month state of emergency.

Is there something I’m missing here?

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The 2015 Paris attacks were among the most gruesome and deadly terrorist acts since 9/11. At the Bataclan alone, 90 people were killed. Sure, €500 may not seem like much, but a single dollar is far too expensive to spend on the likes of Abdeslam.

Politicians on France’s right wing agreed.

“We can never repeat it enough: we are run by a system that has become totally crazy, justifying by the rule of law the worst ignominies against the law and against the state,” Jean Messiha of National Rally, the party fronted by Marine Le Pen, wrote in a tweet.

It’s hardly surprising, however. When you become an Islamic State group terrorist, you should give up your right to privacy. The small dollar amount is irrelevant. The interests of the French state clearly lie in keeping Abdeslam under tight surveillance. That should be the only thing that matters.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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