Prosecutors again demands custodial sentences for Brussels rioters
Friday, 16 March 2018
The Brussels prosecutor’s office has again demanded two to three-year prison sentences for eight people who were allegedly involved in the riots on 11 November in the centre of Brussels. For the riots on 25 November, the Brussels public prosecutor is claiming prison sentences of two years and three years and four months. Among the accused is the rapper Benlabel,who, via his Facebook page, is alleged to have called for the riots of 11 November, a man who allegedly plundered a night shop during those riots, a man who is presumed to have set fire to a car during those riots and several young people who allegedly pelted the police with stones.
On 25 November 2017 a demonstration took place on the Poelaertplein against slavery in Libya. However, this culminated in confrontation between demonstrators and the police on both the Avenue Louise and the Porte de Namur, during which several shops were ransacked.
The first young man who stood trial on Friday for the riots on 11 November, B.M., had destroyed the entrance gates of a shop and, together with a group of young people, surrounded a police combo and struck them with an iron bar on the front door and the windshield. In addition, he had attacked three passers-by together with other rioters. One of those passers-by was thrown to the ground and kicked several times.
The second young man, A.D., is accused of throwing a traffic sign at police commissioner Vandersmissen and thrown several projectiles at a truck of the federal police. He gave himself in to the police on the same day. In his own words he let himself be carried away by the events, and he reacted angrily when the police sprayed him with pepper spray.
The files of 11 and 25 November have already been pleaded before. Yet, both the public prosecutor and the defense maintained their position. For Commissioner Vandersmissen and his driver, compensation of 1,500 and 500 euro was requested.
The prosecutor already requested the same sentences for which the court took the cases into consideration, but decided to reopen the argumentation so that they could merge the files and treat them jointly. The verdict is set for 20 April.