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Jewish Museum shooting suspect extradited to Belgium

11:39 30/07/2014

Mehdi Nemmouche, the French national accused of the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May, in which four people died, has been handed over to Belgian custody by French authorities.

The French Cassation Court last Wednesday put an end to Nemmouche’s attempts to avoid extradition, and France promised he would be delivered into Belgian custody within 10 days. He arrived yesterday and is being held in prison in Mons. Nemmouche is refusing to co-operate with the investigation, his lawyer said, out of fear that police officers will leak details to the press.

The case is being handled by two magistrates, one of whom is specialised in terrorism cases. Nemmouche is facing four charges of aggravated murder committed in the course of a terrorist attack and faces life sentences on each charge.

The 29-year-old Algerian-born French national is accused of shooting four people on May 24 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. Three people, two Israeli tourists and a Frenchwoman who volunteered at the museum, died at the scene. A fourth, 25-year-old Belgian national Alexandre A Lider Strens, who worked at the museum, died later in hospital.

Nemmouche was arrested in a bus station in Marseilles a week after the attack, found in possession of two firearms, a GoPro camera and a cap similar to the one seen being worn by the shooter on security footage. He said he stole the guns from a car in Brussels and denied any involvement in the attack.

He also fought extradition from France because he feared Belgium would hand him over to Israel, said his lawyer.


photo: A vehicle transports shooting suspect Mehdi Nemmouche from the appeals court at Versailles

©Benoit Tessier/Reuters


Written by Alan Hope