“That night plunged us all into horror and ugliness,” Jean-Pierre Albertini, whose 39-year-old son Stephane was killed in the Bataclan concert hall, told Reuters.
With police on high alert, streets will be cut off to cars and pedestrians around the Palais de Justice courthouse on an island in central Paris, with the surrounding banks of the Seine also off-limits.
Those authorized to attend the trial will have to go through multiple checkpoints before being allowed in a specially-built courtroom and other rooms where the hearings will be broadcast.
The trial will last nine months, with about 1,800 plaintiffs and more than 300 lawyers taking part in what Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has described as an unprecedented judicial marathon. The verdict is expected late May.
The other suspects, six of whom will be tried in absentia, are accused of helping to provide guns and cars or playing a role in organizing the attacks.
“What I care about in the trial is the testimony of other survivors … (to) hear how they have been coping over the past six years,” said 48-year-old Jerome Barthelemy. “As for the accused, I don’t even expect them to speak.”
A survivor of the attack on the Bataclan, Barthelemy said he was doing well now but had suffered from depression and anxiety.
Responsibility for the killings was claimed by ISIS, which had urged its followers to attack France over its involvement in the fight against the group in Iraq and Syria.