On July 14, 2016, the defense of the “Albanian gunsmith clan” entered the scene of the trial in Nice.

This Wednesday is dedicated only to the “weapon” part of this dossier. A component that can detach from a “terrorist” file and request modifications. A choice was made to join them. Offenses against arms laws – transfer, acquisition, transportation, possession – as well as criminal association (without the T for terrorist) apply to only four of the eight defendants who have appeared before Paris’s special serious crimes court since September 5.

This is a clan of Albanian gunsmiths: three men and a woman with close or distant connection to the gun used by the terrorist in the truck or – or – the Tula AK SU 74 AK SU assault rifle, found in the basement of Rue Marceau in Nice and still we don’t know exactly who it was meant for and why. Two operations, the first on July 12 with a terrorist. Second, July 13, without him.

Wednesday morning recap.


This 30-year-old Albanian has already been in prison for four years.

Three years in prison and a permanent ban from French territory are required.

He is accused of going to the top of Nice with Endri Elesi to buy a machine gun. Maksim Celay freely compared.

His lawyer, Maitre Clotilde Cottineau: “Maxim Celac’s role is limited to carrying a weapon that he does not know where to go.”

“He admitted his participation in this transport, which was an aggravating circumstance of being transported to the meeting with Endri Elesi. That is the only thing we can accuse him of.”

“He only wants one thing, to be punished for what he has actually committed. The 3-year sentence requested is excessive. It does not fit the crime committed. And a blanket ban on French territory is disproportionate, I beg you, I beg you not to pronounce it.” .


This 30-year-old Albanian spent six months in prison in France after one month in Italy.

He is accused of going into the hills north of Nice in search of the AK, which was found in a cellar on rue Marceau in Nice. He seemed free.

It requires three years and a permanent ban on French territory.

His lawyer, Maitre Guillaume Gombart: “It’s a simple story. He’s carrying a weapon designed for a terrorist. But there are so many questions to be asked. He’s a man forced to do a favor for his cousin. Is it worth three years? Is it? Does he meet a person or persons?

“His time is already a form of suffering. He is away from his wife, his son, with the ban on working, away from his home.”

“I want a fair punishment from you. He can be sentenced to a sentence other than the required 3 years. What’s the point of keeping him in prison again? I’m afraid, because the other accused, Maksim Celac, has been sentenced for 4 years and 7 months. I’m afraid that this thought will remain in my mind. I’m afraid, but you I trust.”

“Is he a simple, kind person? Intellectually and emotionally fragile.”

“If you are going to judge without politics and symbolism in this court, I ask you to let Andri Elesi find his son.”


At the time, this 44-year-old Albanian, who lived in Nice, a civil union with Enkeledja Zace, was detained for another case. At that time, he was placed under arrest.

He is accused of selling the gun to Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlele on July 12. And I read to Ramzi Arefa a rifle and magazine not adapted to the weapon. It was he who found the weapon a priori from Andri Elesi’s cousin Adriatic Elesi. Adriatic Elesi was convicted in this case. He committed suicide in prison in June 2018.

10 years in prison is required, the maximum sentence served.

His lawyers, Maitre Frédéric Nasrinfar and Karime Laouafi: “His criminal background and drug dealing do not make him any less human and vulnerable to this tragedy.”

“Arta Henaj must be convicted of acquiring, handing over and possessing two weapons at the meeting and only for these crimes.”

“It’s a bit strange to have a small court in a big trial.”

“Artan Henaj was criticized for his lack of empathy, I can assure you that emotion and empathy are on our side.”

“Yes, he is a drug dealer, yes, he sold two weapons, one of which ended up in the hands of a terrorist, he is well aware of this, but we should not think that he committed the most serious form of arms trafficking and prosecution. 10 years of the heaviest punishment.”

“Pompom is the Crown telling you that the weapon caused the movement. It’s not in the record. There’s no record of the weapon determining the transition to the movement. If the world didn’t have Rising Henage, this would have been an attack. It happened anyway.”

“The defendants should be given a proper place in the file.”

“We agree that it’s not a big teddy bear, and it’s not a big fish either. When the facts came out, he was a drug dealer, but he wasn’t a major gun dealer in the square. It was probably the first time he’d ever sold a handgun. He It will take a month to find him, he has no weapon.”

“A machine gun greased with olive oil! We’re not in Lord of War.”

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