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American train-attack witness hospitalised in Paris

Spencer Stone, then a 23-year-old, was among passengers who helped subdue gunman Ayoub El Khazzani aboard the Amsterdam to Paris train in 2015.

By: AP | Paris | November 19, 2020 3:48:21 pm
In this Aug. 24, 2015 file photo, former French President Francois Hollande bids farewell to US Airman Spencer Stone as US National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., second from left, and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, right, after Hollande awarded them the French Legion of Honor at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

An American who had been scheduled to appear as a star witness at the trial in Paris of an Islamic State operative was hospitalised Thursday in the French capital, casting doubt on whether he would still be able to testify about his role in the dramatic capture of the gunman that averted a possible mass slaughter aboard a high-speed train.

Spencer Stone’s lawyer, Thibault de Montbrial, wouldn’t give details about what is ailing the former US airman, citing medical privacy. He said Stone would not testify as planned on Thursday afternoon.

“I know that he is hospitalised. I don’t know why. I don’t know how he is,” de Montbrial said.

“The only thing I’m certain of is that he is not in a state to testify today. We are going to regroup this evening to gauge whether he can be heard tomorrow morning or afternoon.”

Stone, then a 23-year-old, was among passengers who helped subdue gunman Ayoub El Khazzani aboard the Amsterdam to Paris train in 2015.

Their heroics inspired Clint Eastwood to direct a Hollywood re-enactment.

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