French court acquits 1 man, convicts 2 in terror-tied trial

PARIS — A French court on Wednesday acquitted a man charged with harboring Islamic extremists after they carried out the 2015 Paris attacks, bringing a surprising end to the first criminal trial linked to the country’s deadliest extremist violence since World War II.

The presiding judge said the Paris court found Jawad Bendaoud, a 31-year-old street criminal, not guilty of providing lodging to two of the attackers and helping them hide from police when they were the most-wanted criminals in France.

The court also convicted and sentenced two codefendants in the case to prison terms Wednesday.


The Nov. 13, 2015, attacks on Paris cafes, the national stadium, and the Bataclan concert hall left 130 people dead. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

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Addressing Bendaoud at a verdict hearing, Judge Isabelle Prevost-Desprez said the evidence was ‘‘insufficient to prove your guilt.’’

Bendaoud, standing behind a glass-enclosed dock, raised his fist in victory.

He denied knowing the identity of the men to whom he rented a small flat in Saint-Denis.

associated press