Mehdi Nemmouche arrived for the first time in Belgium a little less than two months before the attack at the Jewish Museum.
This was revealed by the indictment act which the federal judges went on reading on Thursday afternoon before the Brussels’s Assize Court. From late March to late May 2014, Nemmouche rented a room in a building located rue Saint-Joseph in Molenbeek. He had spent the night before in a youth hostel.
The building’s owner, Tarak Smirani, contacted the authorities after recognizing his tenant on a wanted notice which was issued after the attack.
Nemmouche had initially rented a room for one month. In early April, he extended his stay in another room of the same building, warning the owner that he would have to travel to France to visit his sickly father.
Then, Smirani did not see the accused again until 24 May, a few hours after the killing at the Jewish Museum. Nemmouche asked him for help to buy a bus ticket to Marseille, but this did not happen. At the same time, the tenant announced that he would soon leave the place.
After the publication of the wanted notice, Smirani’s wife remembered having seen Nemmouche near the building between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM, less than an hour after the events. According to her, Nemmouche, who seemed to be in a hurry, was dressed in a dark suit and carrying three bags.
During a search, investigators discovered in particular, in the dustbin of Nemmouche’s room, the packaging of the SIM card that had been discovered on him when he was arrested in Marseille, as well as a shoebox corresponding to the shoes he wore. Sneaker traces can also be connected “with certainty” to a pair found in his luggage on 30 May.
During the following two days following the attack, Nemmouche met buyers to whom he sold respectively a GoPro camera and a games console.
The April telephone survey will reveal that the accused had numerous contacts with numbers assigned to two former co-inmates, Mounir Attallah and Nacer Bendrer.