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    Gangster acquitted following fire at courthouse

    On Wednesday, the Brussels Criminal Court acquitted Belgian gangster Abderrahim Bekhti for a shooting dating back to 2008. The man is known to be one of the leaders of a gang arrested in 2013 in Brussels and Strasbourg as they were planning to commit a robbery in Alsace. He had initially confessed to the shooting in 2010 but then retracted his statement. The shooting occurred on September 12th, 2008 on Avenue Stalingrad in Brussels. One person was injured. The victim was not able to give a precise description of her attacker, and could not recognize Abderrahim Bekhti in a line-up.   

    During his trial before the Criminal Court of Brussels for trafficking stolen weapons, A. Bekhti confessed to the shooting.  However, all evidence of his confession went up in smoke in January 2012 in a fire at the courthouse.

    Last month, at the beginning of the trial for the shooting, Bekhti said he had no memory of his statements and denied any involvement. He was acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence.

    Maria Nowak (Source: Belga)