Anarchy in Belgium: verdict due on EU official insulting anarchist ‘gang’
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    Anarchy in Belgium: verdict due on EU official insulting anarchist ‘gang’

    The gang is said to have sung a song full of insults to EU officials in the Schuman metro station. Credit: Flickr/Phil

    On Tuesday, the Brussels correctional court will issue a verdict in the trial of 12 people who, between 2008 and 2014, were said to have been part of an anarchist gang that had committed several crimes.

    The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office demanded community service sentences for nine of them, a suspended prison sentence for one and for the other two, acquittal.

    The defence, however, requested the acquittal of everyone because there was no question of gang formation and because it was not proven that the different persons were involved in the events that were charged to them, Bruzz reports.

    According to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, in January 2009 the suspects attempted to set fire to the closed refugee shelter in Steenokkerzeel. A group of people then held an unannounced manifestation in which Molotov cocktails and fireworks were thrown at the building.

    After the action, there was a confrontation with the police at Nossegem station. The activists were said to have tried to break the police cordon by force, which, according to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, constitutes a rebellion.

    A second serious incident was reported to have occurred during the night of 12 to 13 November 2010 when a group of about 40 people held an unannounced demonstration in Anderlecht. When the police arrived, they were pelted with, among other things, stones and iron rods.

    The gang is also held responsible for a whole series of graffiti and tags. They are also said to have sung a song full of insults to EU officials in the Schuman metro station to the song of “Aux Champs Elysées”. Finally, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office also blames them for the attack on two limousines in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode.

    According to the defence, however, there could be no question of gang formation because there was no structure, hierarchy or division of tasks in the group.

    The investigators also incorrectly assumed that a number of isolated incidents had to be linked to an anarchist movement.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times