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Paris attacks 'landlord' sentenced to four years in jail


AFP Paris
A French man who rented his flat to the ringleader of the 2015 Paris attacks during a massive police manhunt was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for "hiding terrorists".
Jawad Bendaoud was convicted on appeal of hiding Islamic State jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his accomplice Chakib Akrouh, who holed up after the November 13 attacks in Bendaoud's apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
Bendaoud was the first person to be tried in France over the synchronised shooting and suicide attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, national stadium and several cafes in which a total of 130 people were killed.
The attacks were the worst in France since World War II.
Five days later, police tracked Abaaoud down to Bendaoud's flat and launched a dramatic raid, in which Abaaoud, Akrouh and a female cousin of Abaaoud's were killed.
Bendaoud, a 31-year-old drug dealer, became a national laughing stock after declaring in an infamous TV interview that he had detected nothing suspicious about his lodgers.
At his first trial, the court found insufficient evidence that he knew the men were part of the November attacks cell.
Bendaoud presented himself as a cocaine-sniffing womaniser who was in the habit of renting out his flat to gangsters without asking questions.
The prosecution appealed the verdict, which was overturned on Friday. Abaaoud's cousin Youssef Ait Boulahcen, a 26-year-old ambulance driver who was tried alongside him, was also sentenced to a four-year custodial sentence on Friday for "failing to report a terrorist crime".
In a separate case earlier this week, Abaaoud was given a one-year sentence for issuing death threats against one of the survivors of the Paris attacks.

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 8:41 PM IST

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