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TERRORISM

Paris attacks ‘landlord’ sentenced to four years in jail

A French man who rented his flat to the ringleader of the 2015 Paris attacks during a massive police manhunt was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday for "hiding terrorists".

Paris attacks 'landlord' sentenced to four years in jail
In this file photo taken on November 21, 2018 Jawad Bendaoud arrives at the Paris courthouse to attend his appeal trial. Photo: JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP
Jawad Bendaoud was convicted on appeal of hiding Islamic State jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his accomplice Chakib Akrouh, who holed up after the November 13 attacks in Bendaoud's apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
 
Bendaoud was the first person to be tried in France over the synchronised shooting and suicide attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, national stadium and several cafes in which a total of 130 people were killed. The attacks were the worst in France since World War II.
 
Five days later, police tracked Abaaoud down to Bendaoud's flat and launched a dramatic raid, in which Abaaoud, Akrouh and a female cousin of Abaaoud's were killed.
 
Bendaoud, a 31-year-old drug dealer, became a national laughing stock after declaring in an infamous TV interview that he had detected nothing suspicious about his lodgers.
 
At his first trial, the court found insufficient evidence that he knew the men were part of the November attacks cell.
 
Bendaoud presented himself as a cocaine-sniffing womaniser who was in the habit of renting out his flat to gangsters without asking questions. 
 
The prosecution appealed the verdict, which was overturned on Friday.
 
Abaaoud's cousin Youssef Ait Boulahcen, a 26-year-old ambulance driver who was tried alongside him, was also sentenced to a four-year custodial sentence on Friday for “failing to report a terrorist crime”.
 
In a separate case earlier this week, Abaaoud was given a one-year sentence for issuing death threats against one of the survivors of the Paris attacks.

CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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