A French court has acquitted a man charged with harbouring Islamic extremists after they carried out the 2015 Paris attacks, in the first trial related to the country’s deadliest extremist violence since the Second World War.
The presiding judge said the Paris court found Jawad Bendaoud, an outspoken 31-year-old confirmed 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.
Bendaoud had denied knowing the identity of his renters. One of the two men he hid was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks.
The court also convicted and sentenced his two co-defendants. Mohamed Soumah, who was accused of acting as an intermediary, received a five-year prison sentence. Youssef Ait-Boulahcen, who was accused of being aware of the extremist’s whereabouts and not informing authorities, was sentenced to three years.