Attacks in Brussels – The criminal trial on the Brussels attacks should begin next year
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    Attacks in Brussels – The criminal trial on the Brussels attacks should begin next year

    The criminal trial on the Brussels attacks should take place next year, indicated Sunday Prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw on the Flemish VTM channel. About 1,000 persons will probably take action as civil parties. It will be the largest criminal trial ever held in our country.

    On 22 March 2016, 32 persons lost their life in the attacks on Zaventem Airport and metro station Maelbeek, Brussels. Over 250 persons were injured.

    The criminal investigation is coming to an end and should be closed this year. “The investigating magistrate wants to complete the enquiry by the end of the year. In theory, we should be sending the case to the Criminal Court sometime next year,” reported Mr. Van Leeuw.

    The Public Ministry expects some 1,000 constitutions of civil parties. “This will be an exceptional trial. This is the first time that a criminal trial will receive so many victims,” underlined the Federal Prosecutor. “This will entail many practical issues. It will not be simple either security-wise.”

    The Brussels Courthouse, too small, is inadequate. “We are already in discussion, with various authorities, to find a solution so as to be ready on time for the trial.”

    Ten persons are currently charged, but it is still unknown if all will appear before the court. Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem will certainly be seated on the bench of the accused. The big question is whether Salah Abdeslam will be there too, or not. He was arrested a few days before the attacks but knew about the terrorists’ plans. He was part of the same kamikaze cell.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times