Mohammed S., the police officer arrested on the grounds that he may have had contact with terrorists, will not appear before the Brussels Court in Chambers until Wednesday. The court would, under normal circumstances, take a decision as to whether he should remain in prison today (Friday), given the time which has elapsed. However, the individual’s barrister has requested and obtained a postponement. Me Sven Mary explained, “We haven’t yet had sufficient time to examine the case, and we have asked the investigating judge for a series of points to be clarified.”
Mohammed S. worked in Dispatching in the Brussels-North police zone (Evere-Schaerbeek-Saint-Josse-ten-Noode). He, in particular, knew where and when police raids were planned. The Brussels courts and Comité P, responsible for monitoring the police, had been leading an investigation into this man for a number of weeks. They suspected him of having passed on confidential information to the terrorist suspects using the message service WhatsApp.
Various media sources were saying that the police officer may have been in contact with Yassine Atar, the brother of Oussama Atar. The latter is perceived as the mastermind behind the March 22nd attacks in Brussels and Brussels Airport last year. Moreover the two brothers are the nephews of the El Bakraoui brothers, who blew themselves up at the airport and the Maelbeek metro station.
The contacts in question date back to before these attacks. The content of the messages is not known but is apparently sufficient in the eyes of the investigating judge to place the man in custody, as he is suspected of passive bribery and breach of confidentiality. Me Mary did not wish to comment upon the facts and issues of the case. He merely stated on Friday, “My client has made detailed statements but it is too early for me to comment publicly about the case.”
The Brussels Times