Me Bauwens, who represents two special unit agents who are taking civil action in the trial of Salah Abdeslam and Sofien Ayari, regarding the shooting in Rue du Dries on March 15th, 2016, said on Thursday morning that he was “tired of the opportunism” of the accused men. He stressed that one of his clients, who had become totally incapable of working, had to end his career, after these crimes took place, indeed following 22 years of service.
Me Bauwens remarked that the trial before the Brussels Criminal Court is “outside the norm”, notably owing to the comments that it is arousing from “ministers, judges, the media and colleagues.” The lawyer spoke of being “tired” of the attitude of the accused men, and more particularly by that of Salah Abdeslam. He added, “I am pleased that he has stayed in bed today.” He was referring to the fact that the latter had decided not to attend Thursday’s hearing.
Me Bauwens berated “the opportunism” of the suspects, who are “Muslims when it suits them and equally jihadists when it suits them.” The lawyer bemoaned that Salah Abdeslam “is insulting our rule of law. He does not recognise the court, yet he is constructing his defence based upon the very same rule of law.”
He goes on, “At times, he claims to be a spokesman for the Muslim world, yet it is precisely this world which he is in the process of offending.” The legal representative for the two officers also indirectly attacked Sven Mary, and more particularly Mary’s contesting the admissibility of certain evidence in the case, on the basis of use of given languages.
Lastly, Me Bauwens insisted upon the exceptional nature of his clients’ approach. He concluded, “It is the first time that special unit officers have made a civil claim. You might say it is their job ‘to get shot at’.” One of the officers, who was on the front line, to an equal extent in Forest as in Verviers in January 2015, suffered a more than 55% permanent incapacity. As alluded to above, sadly his condition ended his 22-year career in the police.