Bilal El Makhoukhi has requested the court not to deal with his case. He is one of the suspects imprisoned in the investigation of the terror attacks in Brussels.
According to reports in media, which were confirmed on Thursday (19 May) by his lawyers Koen Van Eecke and Pol Vandemeulebroucke, Makhoukhi has filed a request to the court to recuse itself from his case. The federal prosecutor has confirmed that such a request has been filed but declined to comment.
According to the lawyers, the Brussels court cannot treat Makhoukhi objectively given the fact that one of the victims in the terror attack, the student Leopold Hecht, is the son of the judge who presides the court in Brussels.
“We consider that we cannot ask the judges of the Brussels Court of First Instance to show absolute objectivity if the son of one of their colleagues is a victim”, Vandemeulebroucke said.
“It is impossible that they’ll be totally objective in this case. We want to bring the case to another jurisdiction.”
The Supreme Court will soon rule on the request.
Faced with criticism, Van Eecke and Vandemeulebroucke assured that their request was legitimate and highlighted that such a procedure is considered normal in the Netherlands.