The suspected perpetrator in the terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels is defended by lawyers who believe that he was framed by foreign intelligence agencies and that the Belgian police has planted the evidence in a plot. In the last day of the trial yesterday, the defendant Mehmi Nemmouche, a 33 old Frenchman of Algerian origin who had joined the Islamic State in Syria, continued to exercise his right to silence and only said, “If I could change things, I would change everything.”
He is accused of entering the museum on 24 May 2014 with an assault rifle and for killing two Israeli tourists, a museum employee and a French volunteer. The clothes he was wearing during the attack and the murder weapon were found in his possession.
A witness, who had been a prisoner of the Islamic State in Aleppo, has identified him as one of his captors and told the court: “He is a sadist who tortured me and my friends.”
His two lawyers, Sébastien Courtoy and Henri Laquay, claimed that their client was innocent and that the perpetrator was another unknown person. According to the lawyers the attack was a “settling of accounts between espionage organisations.”
Courtoy denied that the attack was anti-Semitic crime: “It would be as if we said that an attack on an African museum in Brussels is a racist attack.” Nemmouche could not be an anti-Semite because he has “Calvin Klein shoes”.
A lawyer for the Coordination Committee of the Jewish organisations described their argumentation as “hallucinatory, delirious, completely incoherent.”
The correspondent for the French newspaper Liberation wrote about Nemmouche’s lawyers. “While thousands of people gathered in Paris 10 days ago to fight anti-Semitism, lawyers defended, a few hundred kilometres away a chemically pure conspiracy theory in a court of law.”
The jury will announce the verdict tomorrow. If found guilty, Nemmouche could face up to 30 years in prison.
The Brussels Times