The Brussels public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into police violence reported by Ali El Haddad Asufi, one of the defendants in the Brussels bombing trial.
News of the launch of the investigation, carried by several media, has been confirmed by the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
Asufi told the court at the beginning of Thursday’s hearing that he was placed in a chokehold by a police officer while being taken from Haren prison to the Justitia building. His lawyer, Jonathan De Taye, said he had filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office.
For its part, the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police has issued an official citation for rebellion.
Two parallel investigations have therefore been opened.
The president of the Assize Court, Laurence Massart, called in a forensic doctor to examine the allegedly abused defendant.
The expert confirmed that El Haddad Asufi had injuries to his neck that could correspond to a policeman's "stranglehold," as described by the accused. However, he deemed him fit to stand trial.
Nevertheless, Asufi and the other defendants in the dock decided to leave the room.
According to police sources, Asufi had behaved aggressively on Thursday morning towards the officers who went to look for him and refused to cooperate with the search, after which the officers subdued him.