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French court sentences eight over 2016 truck attack in Nice


Photos and names of the 86 victims of the July 14, 2016 truck attacks are seen on a memorial on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A French court found seven men and one woman guilty on Tuesday for their roles in a 2016 truck rampage in the southern city of Nice in which 86 people were killed.

Attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was shot dead by police on the spot after causing devastation and chaos on a two km (1.2 mile) stretch of Nice’s seaside boulevard, where families had been celebrating Bastille Day, France’s national holiday.

The Paris court found Mohamed Ghraieb, the main defendant and a friend of Bouhlel, guilty of belonging to a terrorist organisation. He was handed an 18-year prison sentence.

The judges also found Chokri Chafroud and Ramzi Arefa, two other high-profile defendants – who had been accused of helping Bouhlel to obtain weapons and the truck – guilty of belonging to a terrorist organisation. They were handed jail sentences of 18 and 12 years respectively.

Five other people were handed sentences of two to eight years.

None of the defendants was accused of taking part in the attack or even of complicity – a decision which survivors said they were struggling with.

Islamic State claimed responsibility a few days after the Nice rampage but offered no proof that the attacker, who had a record of domestic violence and petty crime, had had any direct contact with the group.

The verdict can be appealed.