Sharia4Belgium will again face trial for terrorism on October 7th and 14th, as decided by the involved parties at Antwerp Court of Appeal on Thursday. The area surrounding the court building was completely cordoned off for the occasion, although police did not confirm any specific threats had been made. In this case, three defendants who were convicted in February are appealing: 32-year-old Fouad Belkacem, 24-year-old Houssien E. and 31-year-old Mohamed EY. The first two were sentenced to 12 years in prison and a 30,000-euro fine. The third got a 4-year sentence and a 15,000-euro fine. None of them were present in court on Thursday.
Heightened security was in place around the discussion on proceedings. A substantial police presence could be seen in and around the Court of Appeal and a metal detector was in operation at the entrance to the building. The streets around the building were closed to any traffic until the federal prosecutor had left under police protection.
“As was the case with the original trial, police were on high alert and the area was cordoned off”, said a spokesman for Antwerp police. He added, however, that they had not received notification of any specific threat.
There was also heightened security around the court buildings in Liege and Ghent where police also confirmed no imminent terrorist threat had been received.