French prosecutors formally charged 20 suspects over the massacre of 131 people in Paris, four years ago, when 10 heavily armed gunmen and suicide bombers attacked during a football match at the Stade de France, the Bataclan concern hall and bars and restaurants across the city.
In a 562-page indictment released on November 29, the office of the national anti-terror prosecutor (PNAT) requested that 14 people currently in prison or under judicial supervision and other six who are currently targeted by arrest warrants, stand trial for their involvement in the November 15 assaults.
Among those charged are Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect believed to have actively taken part in the attacks and Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain, propagandists for the Islamic State armed group, which claimed responsibility for the killings, while the rest cited in the indictment are accused of helping organise or fund the attacks.
Since 2015, France has suffered a vast wave of jihadist terror strikes that have cost the lives of over 250 people. In 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron turned some provisions of the state of emergency into permanent laws, to provide the national police with enhanced powers in matters of Islamist terror threats.
The five French judges who are overseeing investigations and cooperated with colleagues from Germany, Austria, Greece and Bulgaria will make the final decision to proceed with a trial, which is expected to be held in Paris in 2021.