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Paris 2015 attacks: "Historic trial of 20 men begins" : What you need to know

Police have been placed outside the court where France's biggest criminal trial in history is set to begin/Picture courtesy: Sky news

A historic trial has started in France over the November 2015 Paris attacks which left 130 people dead.

The "Islamic State" group had claimed the suicide bombings and gun assault that left 130 dead and 350 wounded at bars, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall.

Salah Abdelslam, who is believed to be the only surviving attacker, arrived in court dressed in a black shirt and a black COVID face mask amid high security. Another 13 defendants were expected to be present at the court. The 20 suspects in the case face charges including providing logistical support, planning the attacks and weapons offences.

Belgian-Moroccan national Abdeslam, had fled the scene of the attack after he abandoned his suicide belt, which was later found to be defective. He was arrested four months later in Brussels where he and several of the other attackers lived.

Another six are being tried in absentia. If convicted, 12 of the defendants could face life sentences.

A purpose-built facility was designed to hold 1,800 plaintiffs and 350 lawyers in the case over France's worst atrocity since the second world war.

The trial will run until May 2022, with 145 days for hearings involving about 350 lawyers, 300 victims and former French president Francois Hollande, who will testify in November.

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