Accomplice to Brussels Jewish museum attacker gets 18 years in jail
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Accomplice to Brussels Jewish museum attacker gets 18 years in jail

© Belga

Nacer Bendrer, already sentenced to 15 years in jail for supplying weapons to the perpetrator of the attack on the Jewish Museum, Mehdi Nemmouche, on Monday received an additional three years for a separate case of illegal arms possession.

The Marseille Correctional Court ruled that the term would not be served concurrently with his previous ones.

It will therefore be added on to the 15-year sentence Bendrer received from a Belgian court for his complicity in the 2014 attack, which killed four persons, and the 5-year sentence he was given last year in France for an attempted drug-related extortion.

The weapons were found in Bendrer’s apartment in Bouches-du-Rhône when he was arrested there eight months after the Brussels attack, whose main perpetrator, Nemmouche, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In court, Bendrer, his hair shaved at the temples and wearing a grey pullover, admitted that he had had the weapons – a Kalashnikov, two semi-automatic pistols and a hunting rifle, some of which were loaded and ready to be fired – in his possession.

However, he denied buying them and claimed he did not know what they were for. “I kept them as a favour for someone who was in prison for drugs,” he said. That person was not questioned and was later killed in a settling of scores in Marseille.

The investigation failed to unearth any evidence of a terrorist plot on French territory, and the case was finally tried five years later in Marseille.

“I’ve never been radicalised in my life,” Bendrer said. “I’m not a practising Muslim and I was devastated by what happened in Brussels.”

“I erred. I must be punished,” added the 31-year-old Marseille resident, who has over 10 convictions for various delinquent acts.

The Brussels Times