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Charlie Hebdo trial opens in Paris with most suspects dead or presumed dead

File photo of mourners at a memorial to the victims of the January 7, 2015, attacks, outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.
File photo of mourners at a memorial to the victims of the January 7, 2015, attacks, outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

As France prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7, a trial linked to the massacre that left 12 people dead opened in Paris on Monday.

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Reporting from the courthouse, FRANCE 24’s Chris Moore explained that the trial is “a bit of a ghost trial” since most of the 24 suspects are dead or presumed dead in Iraq or Syria.

Of the 24, only five are expected to appear on the dock: 19 suspects fled to parts of Iraq and Syria once controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group and have since been killed or are believed to have been killed during the US-led coalition crackdown on the jihadist group.

The much-awaited trial of 24 suspects in the January 2015 attacks on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris opened in the French capital on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the assault.

Families and loved ones of the victims hope the trial will shed light on the planning operations and networks that enabled radicalised youths to access weapons and conduct the attacks on French soil.

Absent suspects include the Belhoucine brothers, whose eldest son Mohamed is considered the mentor of the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket attack

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