The ongoing trial of the 2016 terrorists in Brussels has been suspended until Thursday following the death of defence lawyer Sébastien Courtoy. Before his death last Monday, Courtoy had been in charge of defending accused accomplice Smaïl Farisi.
Monday's hearing started with a tribute from court president Laurence Massart, who paid her respects to Courtoy after his death last week for a yet unknown reason. Massart then announced that the trial would be suspended for three days, with planned witness testimonies postponed to the month of April.
She explained that her decision was to allow the defence team to reorganise itself following Courtoy's death. She also confirmed that the suspension should not impact the trial schedule, with the victims' testimonies still set to be heard by the court next week.
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Courtoy was a popular figure within the capital's judiciary circles for his impressive rhetorical skills, yet he had also been accused of anti-semitism throughout his career due to his choice of clients.
The lawyer had defended Mehdi Nemmouche who committed the 2014 attack on the Jewish Museum of Brussels, as well as French comedian Dieudonné who was arrested over anti-racist remarks during a show in Liège.