Questioned about the fact that he had told the investigating judge that he would speak in the Assise Court, terror suspect Mehdi Nemmouche said on Wednesday that he would do so at the end of his trial. “I shall express myself,” he said in the Assise Court in answer to a series of questions from Presiding Judge Laurence Massart, intimating that he would say more at the end of the trial about his involvement in the attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium on 24 March 2015. “Be patient,” he told Judge Massart.
The magistrate had questioned the accused on his reason for not speaking in the Assise Court immediately after the investigating judge recalled his first appearance before her. “His attorney had told us his client no longer wanted any intermediary between him and his judges, probably those of the Assise Court,” she recalled.
Massart then made Nemmouche stand and questioned him again on the issue. “We’re here now, at the Assise Court. So why don’t you talk?” she asked him.
“We are here until the first of March,” Nemmouche told Massart, who corrected him by pointing out that the hearing of witnesses would only start on 12 February, after which there would be submissions by the various parties.
“Are you going to speak at the end of the trial?” the presiding judge insisted. Nemmouche then rose again, sighing. “Be patient,” he said.
Pointing a finger at the judge, he added with a tinge of anger: “We gave you a list of witnesses, made up of 130 persons, from which you purged anyone who could have given information diametrically opposed to the version presented in this accusation rag.”
“The accusations are based exclusively on impostures,” he concluded, before taking his seat once again.