The long-running case against the men who allegedly held Kim Kardashian hostage and robbed her of millions of dollars in jewels in Paris in 2016 is finally headed to court … soon.
French investigating judges finally charged 12 people on Friday related the $10 million heist during Paris Fashion Week in October 2016, according to the Associated Press. Of the 12 people heading to court, 10 face charges directly related to the robbery, including theft as part of an organized gang, kidnapping and sequestration and associating with other known criminals, according to the French paper Le Monde. The 11th person reportedly faces charged related to another scheme the robbers had subsequently been planning, and the 12th faces gun charges.
A trial is not yet scheduled in the case.
The Kardashian robbery is the largest robbery of an individual in France in 20 years, according to the French paper. Only one of the pieces of jewelry that was stolen was ever recovered intact; the rest is thought to have been melted down and broken up before being sold in Belgium.
French authorities did not release the names of the people that were ultimately charged in the heist, but police previously named Aomar Ait Khedache, 65, (a.k.a. “Omar le Vieux”) as the suspected mastermind, according to Forbes. His DNA was reportedly found on the zip ties used to secure Kardashian, according to NBC News.
He reportedly penned an apology letter to Kardashian in 2017, according to TMZ, and passed it to her lawyers through the judge in the case — but in 2020, court documents leaked to a French newspaper indicate that he claimed Kardashian made the heist easy with her social media posts. (He has reportedly confessed to being a participant but not the mastermind.)
Another man arrested in the case, Yunice Abbas, 67, published a tell-all book about his participation earlier this year. According to France24, Abbas admits to being one of the men who physically ransacked Kardashian’s apartment. He was arrested three months after the crime but released after only 22 months due to a need for heart surgery — which is when he penned the memoir.
The night watchman of the building in which the heist took place successfully sued Abbas for the profits from his book, according to InTouch.
With one exception, all of those arrested are said to be above the age of 50. Their ages caused the French press to name them the “Grandpa Robbers.”
Kardashian has repeatedly spoke about the trauma of that night, noting that she didn’t know if the men planned to rape or kill her when they took her hostage at gunpoint and tied her up. At one point, they reportedly taped her mouth to keep her quiet as she tried to tell them that she had children, according to TMZ. She’s also repeatedly said that the robbery forced her to reassess her life’s priorities, opting to try and be less materialistic and focus on her family — and to go to therapy.
In the wake of the robbery, Kardashian began showing a dedicated interest in criminal justice reform. In 2018 — less than 18 months after the robbery and a year after the arrests — she began lobbying in favor of specific reforms, including by asking the president to have various people’s sentences commuted and encouraging her social media followers to get more involved in the issue, according to the LA Times.
She also partnered with Archiweekend on her well-received documentary “The Justice Project,” which touched on specific cases that she felt deserved clemency and the larger problem of mass incarceration.
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