Civil party lawyer Tom Bauwens reacted on Thursday at the Brussels Correctional Court to a submission of the defence attorneys for Sofian Ayari that he had not planned to carry out a mass killing, pointing out that “even if he (Ayari) did not want to die at that moment, there was a plan behind it all”. Bauwens defends the interests of various police officers who have filed civil proceedings in the trial of Ayari and Salah Abdeslam. The two men are charged with attempted murder in a terrorist context and illegal possession of weapons following a shootout with the police in Rue du Dries, Forest, on the 15th of March 2016.
Defence attorneys had submitted on Thursday that none of the suspects intended to perpetrate a carnage as the prosecution has charged.
Bauwens also said that one of his clients – one of the policemen who had participated in the operation on Rue du Dries – had his 22-year career cut short following the incident. “He went on permanent work disability of over 55%,” he told journalists as he came out of the courtroom.
Bauwens stressed once again that he saw the behaviour of Salah Abdeslam, who has refused to cooperate with the court, as “opportunistic”. “What do you want me to say?” he asked. “It’s quite simple. You cannot insult the rule of law and then use it.”