PARIS — French prosecutors sought prison sentences of 25 and 30 years for two young women accused of trying to explode a car near Notre Dame Cathedral in 2016.
In closing arguments Thursday, the prosecutor said only Ines Madani’s youth prevented him from seeking a life term instead of 30 years for the 22-year-old.
Madani was a teenager when she and Ornella Gilligmann joined a channel on the social network Telegram run by a notorious French Islamic State jihadist.
Authorities say the two parked a Peugeot near Notre Dame and tried to set gas canisters in the car alight but failed.
Prosecutors say the attempted explosion – long before the fire that ravaged the cathedral in April – could have killed dozens of people in one of the French capital’s most-beloved neighborhoods.
Both women have acknowledged roles and the outlines of the plot but pointed to the other as the instigator.
The prosecutor, Jean-Michel Bourles, said Madani lured Gilligmann into the plot by pretending to be an enamored Islamic State fighter.
But he said “love doesn’t excuse everything” and asked for Gilligmann to get 25 years.
The Frenchman who encouraged the plot, Rachid Kassim, was tried in absentia. He is believed to have been killed by a drone strike in 2017 around the Iraqi city of Mosul.
U.S. authorities confirmed Kassim’s death, but no proof of death was officially reported to the French courts.
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