Security reinforcements for start of Jewish Museum trial
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Police handout photo
Preliminary hearings in the trial of the man accused of killing four people in an attack on the Jewish Museum near the Sablon in Brussels have started, amid tight security precautions. The defence for accused killer of four Mehdi Nemmouche started the procedure by asking for an adjournment, threatening that the accused would refuse to speak if this were not granted.
Defence lawyers also called for the head of the Israeli secret service agency Mossad to be called as a witness, and threatened to take the case on to the court of human rights in Strasbourg.
Nemmouche is accused of entering the Jewish Museum in Brussels on 24 May 2014 and opening fire. Four people were killed, including two museum visitors and two people employed by the museum itself.
Nemmouche is accused of carrying out the attack. An accomplice, Nacer Bendrer, faces charges of helping to plan the attack.
About 150 police officers were on duty in and around the Justice Palace in Brussels for the opening hearing of the trial. Also present were lawyers for the families of victims, as well as those representing Jewish organisations in Belgium, and the federal office from equal opportunities Unia.