Paris Bataclan bombings, Hollande speaks at the trial: “I would do the same again today”

It was the head of state, Francois Hollande, in the terrible days of the attacks that hit Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 people between the Bataclan and other local citizens. Now that the maxi-trial has begun – and should last about 9 months, with over 1,800 civil parties – the former socialist president has also entered the room as a witness. “We did not have the information that would have been decisive in preventing the attacks,” admitted the former head of the Elysée.

Hollande’s testimony

As a witness, quoted by one of the victims’ associations, Hollande spoke in front of the 14 men in the cage of the accused, including Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of the commandos in action that night in the Parisian capital. “I am present before the court – he began – to testify what my role as head of state was on that fatal night, and to testify about my decisions in the months preceding and following it”.

The response to Isis

Hollande’s name had been mentioned in the courtroom from the earliest days, precisely by Salah Abdeslam, who presented the attacks as a response to the foreign policy of France and its then president. Hollande’s response to Isis, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, came immediately: “That group struck us not for our ways of acting abroad but for our ways of life here,” he said, but ” democracy will always be stronger than barbarism “.

“We have done everything possible”

On the most painful issue for the victims, the role of a state that failed to prevent or avoid the attacks, Hollande said: “If I had the slightest doubt about what we have done, prepared, prevented, I would tell you – he said. to the relatives of the victims – I would tell you, asking your forgiveness. But this is not the case. I am aware of the suffering of the victims. I have always had all the information on the threat, on the determination of the groups that waged war on us, on the atrocities. everything we could do “. Unfortunately, Hollande continued, “we did not have the information that would have been decisive in preventing the attacks of November 13. We knew the individuals, but we could not imagine that they were ready to act”.