Trial of the November 13 attacks: The singer of Eagles of Death Metal claims to pray for the souls of the attackers
The singer of the American group Eagles of Death Metal, Jesse Hughes, told the Paris Assize Court on Tuesday of the evening of horror experienced on November 13, 2015 in the Bataclan hall attacked by jihadists. “I pray for them and for their souls, that the light of our Lord shines on them”, declared the artist in particular.
Survivors or relatives of the victims had come in large numbers to hear the Californian singer and the former guitarist of the group, Eden Galindo, both civil parties to the trial.
In a loud, clear voice, Jesse Hughes, dressed in black and a red tie, recalled how, "in the middle of the concert", he had heard gunshots.
“I know the sound of guns,” he explains: “I knew what was going to happen, I felt death approaching me.”
The concert was abruptly interrupted by Kalashnikov fire: 90 people were killed.
His voice knots. The 49-year-old singer recounts the panic, the desire to flee as quickly as possible with his partner and Eden Galindo.
“An angel named Arthur put us in a taxi and sent us to the police station,” he recalls.
There, the two musicians discover dozens of wounded people covered in blood. They also learn of the death of one of their own, the Briton Nick Alexander, who was in charge of the group's derivative products.
That evening, “90 of my friends were heinously killed in front of us,” Jesse Hughes continues, his hands clenched on the desk, looking the members of the court straight in the eye.
"Evil has not conquered"
The singer recounts how he hesitated for a long time afterwards to go back on stage: “I didn't know if I would have the strength to come back”.
“What the assailants tried to do that night was to silence the joy linked to the music, but they failed”. “Evil has not won”, maintains the singer, who claims to have “forgiven” the “poor souls who committed these acts”.
"I pray for them and for their souls, that the light of our Lord shines on them", says Jesse Hughes again before concluding with the words of singer Ozzy Osbourne: "you can't kill rock'n'roll" (" you can't kill rock'n'roll").
Before Jesse Hughes, Eden Galindo, 52, also all dressed in black, had recounted the joy emanating from the concert before the attack: "It was a great concert, everything was going well, everyone was dancing".
And then comes the “thump” of bullets. He first thinks of a sound problem before seeing Jesse Hughes running towards him. "People are shooting... We ran... We thought it was going to stop, but it kept going."
“After all that, it was very difficult to do things normally. I felt like I was broken,” the guitarist says, head down. “I will never be the same again”.
Eden Galindo would like to say a word to the families of the victims. “I think of them every day and I pray for them”.
Leaving the courtroom, Jesse Hughes hugs several civil parties. Some cry. Jesse Hughes too.
After them, around twenty Bataclan survivors recounted their traumatic experience and their persistent suffering more than six years after the attacks which caused the death of a total of 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis, in the suburbs.
The hearings of the civil parties must continue until Friday. The verdict is expected on June 29.
The editorial staff (with AFP)