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Brussels terrorist attack trial to begin in October of next year

21:07 09/12/2021

The trial against 10 men involved in the terrorist attacks of 22 March 2016 will start on 10 October 2022. The Brussels appeal court announced the date, which will follow a hearing on 12 September to finalise the list of witnesses.

The bombings at Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station in the EU quarter that took place on the morning of 22 March 2016 killed 32 people and wounded 340 more. The trial follows years of investigation and hearings this year that ultimately named 10 suspects who would go on trial.

The first order of business will be choosing the jury. A large number of people will be brought in for consideration to allow enough of a choice for the 12 jury members. There will also be 24 alternate members registered. The jury will be required to be present every time court is in session during a trial that is expected to last from six to nine months.


The trial will not take place in the Justice Palace in downtown Brussels but in the new courtrooms in the former Nato building in Evere, renamed Justitia. Pre-trial hearings have already taken place in the building.

“Due to the exceptional material circumstances of the trial and in order to keep the ordinary courtroom in the Justice Palace on Place Poelaert free for any other urgent trials,” said a court spokesperson, “the trial regarding the attacks in Brussels will take place at the Justitia site.”

The 10 men on trial are charged with taking part in a terrorist group, murder in a terrorist context and attempted murder in a terrorist context. There are 960 civil claimants, including victims, victim associations and family members of the dead. It will be the biggest trial ever staged in Belgium.

Photo: French prime minister Jean Castex (left) and Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo pictured during a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to the victims of the 2016 terrorist attacks
©Eric Lalmand/BELGA


Written by Lisa Bradshaw