HEARING Endri Elezi, the seventh and last of the protagonists present at the Nice attack trial, was heard on Monday. Before the start of the pleadings of the civil parties, the court must take an interest this Tuesday in the eighth accused, absent
The seven accused present at the trial of the the Nice attack, with from left to right, in the back, Artan Henaj, Chakri Chafroud, Ramzi Arefa, and in front, Mohamed Walid Ghraieb, Endri Elezi, Makzim Celaj and Enkeledka Zace — Elisabeth de Pourquery/AP/SIPA
- The special assize court of Paris heard on Monday Endri Elezi, the seventh and last of the protagonists present at the trial of the Nice attack. This 30-year-old Albanian is being prosecuted for having participated in the supply of two weapons.
- This Tuesday, therefore, the court will focus on Brahim Tritrou, a 37-year-old Tunisian accused of having served as an intermediary between Ramzi Arefa and Artan Henaj and who is currently detained in Tunisia.
- Wednesday begins the pleadings of the civil parties.
While she will read the statements of the eighth accused, Brahim Tritrou, tried in his absence, this Tuesday, the special assize court of Paris heard Monday Endri Elezi, the seventh and last of the protagonists present at the trial of the Nice attack. This 30-year-old Albanian is being prosecuted for having participated in to the supply of two weapons.
He would notably be involved; in the sale of a semi-automatic pistol, on July 12, 2016, at the author of the ram truck massacre which left 86 dead and more than 400 injured on the Promenade des Anglais on July 14 this year. He denies any involvement. It’s with this weapon that the Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel opened fire without hitting anyone before being shot by the police.
“”I wanted to change my mind. horizon”
At the helm, Endri Elezi explains that he arrived. in France at the beginning of June 2016 at; the invitation of a cousin, Adriatik Elezi, who said he could help him find work. “I wanted to change my horizon,” he explains. Since adolescence, the young man has been going back and forth between Albania and Greece, Italy or Belgium, working as a seasonal worker in agriculture or as a house painter. He also acknowledges having been incarcerated seven months in Belgium after a burglary.
The tapping of this cousin's phone shows that he “seems to live in France from burglaries”, observes the first assessor, Emmanuelle Bessone. “I didn't know. We saw each other, we had coffees, but I didn’t know what he was actually doing,” says Endri Elezi. The young man disputes any involvement in the transaction around the pistol: “We never mentioned weapons together.”
Which destination for weapons?
Contrary to what’s said his cousin during the proceedings, he also claims not to know Artan Henaj, co-accused, at the time of the proceedings. who the gun will be given and who will sell it to; the perpetrator of the attack through another defendant, Ramzi Arefa. “I didn't know him before. If I had known him, I would have told you,” he says in Albanian.
Visibly stressed, his eyes reddened, he only admits to having gone to bed. look for a bag containing an assault rifle, concealed; on the heights of Nice, on the instructions of his cousin. This weapon without ammunition will be found in the cellar of the building where lived in Ramzi Arefa two days after the attack. On July 17, the day of Artan Henaj’s arrest, Endri Elezi and his cousin changed telephone lines.
“You know for a fact that one of the weapons you carried may have been used in an attack. the attack, since that is what Adriatik Elezi says to justify this change of line,” tempts the president of the court, Laurent Raviot. New denial. “At the time I didn’t even know who had been. arrested. It’s him who brought me” the new phone chip, he said. Adriatik Elezi, also indicted in the investigation into the attack, committed suicide. in June 2018 in detention.
Crying in the dock
According to Endri Elezi, his departure from Nice for Italy, at the end of July 2016, is not linked either; to fear of being arrested; after the attack. “I never thought to such a thing,” he says, explaining his departure by the lack of stable work in France. He will be arrested. beginning of 2021 in Italy, where he had just moved in with his wife and son.
Incarcerated; a few months in France, he has been free under judicial supervision for a year. At the end of his interrogation, the accused, who faces five years in prison, collapses in tears on the bench.
Our file on the Nice attack
This Tuesday, therefore, the court will ;will be interested in Brahim Tritrou, a 37-year-old Tunisian charged with of having acted as an intermediary between Ramzi Arefa and Artan Henaj and who is currently detained in Tunisia. On Wednesday, the pleadings of the civil parties begin.