Belgium – attacks in Brussels: Trial will open on October 10, 2022

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On March 22, 2016, two jihadists blew themselves up at Brussels-Zaventem International Airport and a third in the metro in the Belgian capital. Results: 32 dead and more than 340 injured.

Remembering the victims of the Brussels attacks in 2019.

AFP

The trial of the jihadist attacks of March 2016 in Brussels will open on October 10, 2022 in the Belgian capital, the appellate court said on Wednesday evening, while some of the accused, including Salah Abdeslam, are currently on trial over the attacks. from Paris.

The trial begins this Monday at 9 a.m. with the composition of the jury of the jury that will decide on the guilt of 10 defendants. “The main hearing will start on Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 9 a.m.,” added Laurence Massart, the first president of the Brussels Court of Appeal, who herself will preside over this jury, in a statement.

The duration of the experiment is not specified. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office, which will represent the public prosecutor’s office, had already indicated that it could take place over the entire court year, i.e. until the summer vacation 2023. Around a thousand civil parties, relatives of victims, injured or traumatized people are supposed to demand compensation for injuries. The defendants will answer to them for “murders in a terrorist context”.

On the morning of March 22, 2016, two jihadists blew themselves up at Brussels-Zaventem International Airport, and a third in the metro in the Belgian capital. Results: 32 dead and more than 340 injured.

Ten men are called to the trial, including the Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the commando that killed 130 people in the attacks of the 13th.

In the former NATO headquarters

The attacks in Paris and Brussels were organized by the same jihadist cell and each was claimed by the jihadist organization Islamic State. After the double suicide bombing on March 22nd, the investigation quickly revealed, thanks in particular to a computer found in a garbage can, that the perpetrators were linked to those of November 13th.

In addition to Salah Abdeslam, the future trial will also affect the Belgian-Moroccan Mohamed Abrini – who met him on March 22nd, 2016 in Brussels) and the Swede of Syrian origin Osama Krayem, who returned on March 22nd after hitting the suicide bomber in the underground Had accompanied Bahn.

Two other Belgian Moroccans are also targeted by the referral to the Assisen: Oussama Atar, alleged mastermind of the attacks – probably died in Syria and sentenced in Paris by default – and Ali El Haddad Asufi, a close friend of the El Bakraoui brothers, two of the three “suicide bombers” on March 22nd. Only four of the ten defendants were not questioned in the November 13 investigation. They are generally suspected of providing logistical assistance to the main suspects in Brussels.

In Belgium, unlike France, the attacks are not judged by a specially composed jury (only with judges), but, as with other crimes, are subjected to a people’s jury, which makes the organization of the crime even more complex. The trial is set to take place on the outskirts of the Belgian capital in the former NATO headquarters, which has been converted into an ultra-secure judicial building.

Laurence Massart, in the decision adopted on Wednesday, pointed out the “material contingencies due to the extraordinary nature of the trial” preventing it from being held in the courtroom of the old Brussels courthouse. This should be left free for possible other urgent processes, she argues. A preliminary hearing on the compilation of the list of witnesses will be held on September 12th.

(AFP)

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