Eight to stand trial six years after Bastille Day attack in Nice

The trial of eight suspects in relation to the Bastille Day attack in Nice begins on September 5, six years after a terrorist drove a lorry into a crowd, killing 86 people and injuring more than 450.

Accused of helping attacker

The city was celebrating France’s national July 14 holiday in 2016 when a 19-tonne refrigeration truck ran into pedestrians on the busy Promenade des Anglais.

The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, a Tunisian man living in Nice, was shot dead by police at the scene.

The defendants are accused of either having links with the attacker or being implicated in arms trafficking which allowed him to obtain the pistol used during his rampage.

Trial important for victims

Delphine Courtonne, deputy director of the Montjoye association which provides victims with assistance, said: “Lots of victims have told us it’s important for them to be able to attend, to hear about the police investigation, and to tell their story, the repercussions the attack has had on their lives and their close circle.

“It is an important stage in the reconstruction of victims.”

Trial in Paris and broadcast to Nice convention centre

The trial will take place at the Court of Appeal in Paris in the same courtroom as the historic November 13 Paris attack trial which concluded this year. 

There will be at least 865 civil plaintiffs, and those who cannot be present will be able to follow the trial via internet radio on request, a measure first introduced for the Paris trial.

It will also be broadcast in two rooms of the Palais Acropolis convention centre in Nice, one for civil plaintiffs and the other for journalists and the public.

The trial is expected to last at least two months.

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