10 suspects of Brussels terror attacks referred to Assizes court
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10 suspects of Brussels terror attacks referred to Assizes court

Credit: Belga

Ten of the thirteen suspects of the Brussels attacks of 22 March 2016 will be referred to the Court of Assizes, the Council Chamber of Brussels decided.

The Court of Assizes deals with the most serious crimes. In this case, it concerns the attacks on Brussels Airport and the Maelbeek metro station on 22 March 2016, during which 32 people died (in addition to three suicide bombers) and 340 others were injured.

The federal prosecutor’s office had requested that 8 of the 13 accused be sent to the Court of Assizes for murder and attempted murder in a terrorist context and for belonging to a terrorist group.

Those eight people are Salah Abdeslam, Osama Atar, Mohamed Abrini, Sofien Ayari, Osama Krayem, Ali El Haddad Asufi, Bilal El Makhoukhi and Hervé Bayingana Muhirwa.

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For two others – the brothers Smail and Ibrahim Farisi -, the federal prosecutor’s office had requested a referral to the correctional system, but the Council Chamber chose not to separate the case file. As a result, they too will have to stand trial in Assizes.

Finally, the last three defendants were acquitted from prosecution, in accordance with the prosecutor’s office’s request.

“The case will shortly be transferred to the Court of Appeal, which will decide when the case will be heard by the Chamber for Indictments,” the federal public proesecutor’s office said in a statement.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times