All five of his co-defendants were sentenced to 10 to 18 years in prison.
Three other men were released, one of whom, Wissem E. He was not present at the scene when the crime took place and two others Saber B. and Moussa K. The court also held that they did not have sufficient evidence. They should be punished.
The prosecution sought an 18-year criminal sentence against the artist, whose real name is Mohamed Silla, between 13 and 20 years against six defendants, and acquittal of two others.
When the verdict was announced, many women in the audience, relatives of the accused, wept. MHD, for his part, remained stoic before hugging a crying woman. He was then taken directly to the depot.
His lawyers declined to comment after the verdict.
“A rigorous investigation, but a judicial truth emerged despite the law of peace,” responded Louis K. Juliet Chappell, the lawyer for the victim’s family.
Convicts have 10 days to appeal.
On Saturday morning, the rapper declared his innocence for the last time in front of a packed house, before the court was deliberately retired.
On the night of July 5-6, 2018, Loïc K., a 23-year-old man, was deliberately run over by a Mercedes in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, then attacked and slashed with knives by about ten people. He lay in a pool of blood a few dozen minutes after his attackers left.
The next day the car was set on fire in the parking lot.
At the heart of the case is a settlement of scores between young men from the town of Chaufourniers, nicknamed the Red Town, where the accused hail from, and the neighboring town of Grange aux Belles, located in the 10th and 19th arrondissements.
The affair clearly derailed the career of the artist, a pioneer of “Afro-Trop”, a fusion of hip-hop and African music, whose video, posted on YouTube in 2015, went viral, becoming the starting point of a meteoric rise. .
From a pizza delivery man, in a few months he became a recognized star not only in France but also abroad, where he was noticed by artists such as Madonna and Drake.
He will spend a year and a half in jail before being released under court supervision — a “success story” that was put on hold by his arrest and pre-trial detention.
Trapped by multiple witnesses
In this case, the rapper, who has continued his success in the city of Chaufourniers between two tours, was accused by several witnesses who confirmed that he was at the scene of the crime, which he contested from the beginning.
Investigators also established that the burned Mercedes belonged to him and a video of the scene, taken from an apartment complex, showed an African man in a Puma tracksuit with dyed blond hair.
However, at the time, MHD had peroxide hair and was an ambassador for the sportswear brand.
On Friday, his lawyers, Elise Arfi and Antoine Way, pleaded for acquittal for their client, as did other lawyers accused before them.
Throughout the trial and three-week trial, the accused, but numerous witnesses, were presented with a “law of silence”. Many of them, despite being summoned, did not appear in court. A law of silence dictated by “fear of reprisals,” according to several figures.
In their filings on Thursday and Friday, defense lawyers attacked the way the trials were conducted, criticizing the case as “built on hearsay” and relying on “lame” elements and missing evidence as to their objectivity.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”