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A person in jail. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Paris: Three men were sentenced to 24 years in jail on Friday over a massive weapons haul by police just weeks ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament.

Investigators have never determined where the weapons were going to be used, but the French prime minister at the time they were found, Manuel Valls, said the Euros in France that summer were the target.

On Friday, a court in Paris sentenced radical Reda Kriket to 24 years in jail because the AK-47 assault rifles, handguns, explosives and bomb-making equipment were found in his rented apartment in a Paris suburb.

It said he should serve at least two thirds of the term behind bars.

Kriket, a 39-year-old serial offender with a long criminal record, had refused to accept French law during the trial but denied intending to launch an attack.

Also on trial was Anis Bahri, a 37-year-old self-described jihadist who was arrested by Dutch police in Rotterdam shortly after Kriket was detained, as well as Algerian national Abderrahmane Ameuroud.

Bahri and Ameuroud were given the same sentence as Kriket, with the court concluding they were "a trio at work" planning an attack that "promised to be deadly".

French investigators believe that Kriket and his co-conspirators were planning to carry out an attack in the name of Daesh.

Both Kriket and Bahri are believed to have travelled to Syria in late 2014 or early 2015.

In July 2015, Kriket was sentenced in absentia to 10 years' imprisonment in Belgium over his suspected involvement in a network supplying fighters to Syria.