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Trial of the Brussels attacks: postponement of the interrogations of the accused


The interrogations, including that of Salah Abdeslam, will not begin on Wednesday and will not take place before "the end of January".

The interrogations of the defendants in the trial of the 2016 attacks in Brussels, including Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini, will not begin before “

end of January

” at the earliest, and not Wednesday as planned, indicated this Tuesday the court of appeal.

A legal action brought by six defendants detained against their conditions of transfer from prison to the courthouse has disrupted the schedule of this trial, already disrupted by several incidents.

In this dispute, a first hearing before a judge in chambers is scheduled for Friday.

The suicide attacks committed by the jihadist cell already at the origin of November 13, 2015 and also claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group had killed 32 people and injured several hundred on March 22, 2016. At this trial, nine defendants appeared: seven prisoners including Abdeslam and Abrini, and two others free.

A tenth man, presumed dead in Syria, is tried in absentia.

Fifteen days after the opening of the proceedings, the president of the Assize Court Laurence Massart announced this Tuesday morning that she preferred to postpone the interrogations of the accused, and first hear the investigators and examining magistrates who worked on this sprawling folder.

Fourteen of them have already been summoned to come and testify on Wednesday, she said.

Investigators are expected to testify until "

end of January


According to a spokesperson for the court of appeal, the testimonies of the investigators, which had not yet been planned, should last until “the

end of January


In addition to the interrogations of the accused, the first testimonies of victims could also be delayed.

On Monday, several defendants had warned, through their lawyers, that they did not intend to answer questions before having obtained a relaxation of the transfer conditions which they consider "humiliating".

They blame in particular systematic strip searches by the police.

Mohamed Abrini “

will not respond until the question of transfers is decided

,” said his lawyer Laura Pinilla.

This 37-year-old Belgian-Moroccan is "

the man in the hat

" who had given up on exploding himself on March 22 at Brussels airport.

Sentenced to life imprisonment for his participation in the attacks of November 13, 2015 in France (130 dead in Paris and Saint-Denis), he was voluble during the river trial which ended at the end of June in the French capital. .

Six of the ten defendants in the Brussels trial have already been sentenced to heavy sentences in this French procedure.

An irreducible life sentence was pronounced against Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the November 13 commandos.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-20

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