Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, the main suspect in the deadly 2014 attack on a Brussels Jewish museum, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. His lawyers say they have proof their client was set up by Israeli intelligence, backed by Belgian police.
Tuesday was D-Day for Mehdi Nemmouche, the main suspect in the attack on the Belgian Jewish museum in Brussels almost five years ago.
The 33-year-old alleged jihadist, who stands accused of murdering two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer and a Belgian museum receptionist on May 24, 2014, was due to speak for the first time in court along with his co-defendant, Nacer Bendrer.
The victims have been waiting for years to hear what Nemmouche had to say – but since his arrest, he has exercised his right to remain silent. After a long day of waiting as legal procedures were followed and a juror was expelled, the accused pleaded not guilty and then said he chose not to speak for the moment.
The trial of the deadly 2014 attack on the Belgian Jewish Museum in Brussels opened on Thursday under a heavy security presence.
It began with an introduction of the defendants followed by the prosecution reading out its 184-page statement detailing the investigation, according to Belgian news agency Belga.
The attack is considered one of the first claimed by the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group on European soil. More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify, including four French journalists who say they were held captive in Syria by one of the perpetrators.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian judge has ordered the government to repatriate six children of Islamic State (IS) militants and their mothers who have been detained in a camp in Kurdish-controlled Syria, the national news agency Belga said on Wednesday.
…Belga quoted the court ruling as ordering the Brussels government to take all necessary and possible measures to ensure the six children and their mothers can return to Belgium.
It must do so within 40 days after being notified of the decision or pay a daily penalty of 5,000 euros for each child, up to a maximum 1 million euros, newspaper De Tijd said. The Belgian government can appeal the ruling.
The clip, published by the local newspaper La Derniere Heure, has put Brugge FC under fire as dozens of their fans were caught singing in Flemish: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews cause Jews burn the best”. The video was filmed on 26 August in the popular tourist city when they celebrated after their club beat the Belgian capital’s Anderlecht.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has resigned amid pressure on his government after the largest party in his coalition quit over his support for the United Nations Global Compact for Migration, AP reported Tuesday.
Charles Michel told Belgian lawmakers Tuesday that “I am taking the decision to offer my resignation. I am now going to see the king” to inform him, as quoted by AP.
Police have deployed water cannon during a rally against the controversial UN migration pact in Brussels. Officers were seen scuffling with protesters, who threw firecrackers before facing off with law-enforcement.
The rally was dubbed the ‘March against Marrakech’ in reference to the city where the pact was signed earlier in December. It was organized by the right-wing Vlaams Belang party which has long been a vocal opponent of the agreement.
Prosecutors are investigating whether Belgian banks paid out interest and dividends on accounts frozen under UN sanctions in 2011 after the ouster of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Up to €5 billion ($5.7 billion) could have been disbursed to people controlling Libyan accounts, including militia groups in the country which stand accused of human rights abuses, according to a report by public broadcaster RTBF which cited an unidentified source.
Belgian broadcaster RTV reports that the man, Lucas Claes, was walking his dog in a park in Antwerp when it ran over to the group of migrants. Statistics show that around 75% of children in Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city, have migrant backgrounds.
Belgium has broken its relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) bureau in charge of education over its honoring of terrorists and will no longer fund the construction of its schools, a government spokesperson said, according to JTA.
The Belgian Education Ministry announced the move — the first of its kind by any European country — this week, the Joods Actueel Jewish newspaper reported Friday.
Several people have been killed and multiple injured at a restaurant stabbing in Belgium, according to reports.
An area in Moresnet-Chapelle has been shut down and emergency response crews and police are currently on the scene.
Mayor of Plombières Thierry Wimmer confirmed there were “several” fatalities, while local news outlets reported three people had died.
From the DM: Mayor Thierry Wimmer told the Belga news agency that multiple people were killed in the stabbings at the restaurant. The incident is not believed to be linked to terrorism, the mayor told the news agency. We’ll see.