April 18, 2024

Jury to judge extremist attacks in Brussels that killed 32

BRUSSELS (AP) – A jury is expected to deliver its verdict on the Belgian verdict on Tuesday a deadliest peace attacksuicide bombings at Brussels airport and a busy subway station in 2016 that killed 32 people in a wave of violence in Europe claimed by the Islamic State group.

Among the 10 defendants are Salah Abdeslamwho is already serving a life sentence without parole in France for his role in attacks that hit Paris cafes, the Bataclan theater and the French national stadium in 2015. The suspects were tried in Brussels on charges including murder, attempted murder and participation in the acts of a terrorist group.

The biggest trial in Belgian judicial history took place over more than half a year in a special court to deal with the exceptional case. Survivors and families of victims hoping the trial and verdict would help them work through the trauma and find closure.

The attacks on the morning of 22 March 2016 at Zavantem Airport and on the central Brussels subway commuter line shook the city – the headquarters of the European Union and NATO – and put the country on edge. In addition to the 32 people killed, almost 900 others were wounded or suffered serious mental trauma.

The 12 jurors have been dealing with approximately 300 questions since the beginning of July that the court asked them to consider before reaching a verdict. The decision expected on Tuesday will address whether or not the suspects are guilty of various charges; a final sentence will be determined in a separate process and is not expected before September. If convicted, some could face up to 30 years in prison.

Abdeslam was the sole survivor of the Islamic State extremists who struck Paris in November 2015 and were part of a Franco-Belgian network that went on to target Brussels four months later.

As well as that on trial in Brussels is Mohamed Abrini, a childhood friend of Abdeslam and a native of Brussels who walked out of Zaventem airport when his explosives failed to detonate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *