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Ten suspects in Brussels terror attacks to stand trial

Illustration shows 'Justitia', the new courtroom at the former Nato headquarters building, in Haren, Brussels, Thursday 03 December 2020. 'Justitia' will accommodate the biggest trials in Belgium. (BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND)
07:48 20/09/2021

Ten men accused of involvement in the March 2016 bomb attacks in Brussels that killed 32 people will face trial, Belgian federal prosecutors have confirmed.

Six of the suspects, including 32-year-old French-Moroccan Salah Abdeslam, are currently on trial in France over the November 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people.

"Ten of those charged were ordered to stand trial in the Court of Assizes by the indictment chamber in Brussels," a spokesperson for the federal prosecutors said.

The 10 defendants in the case, Salah Abdeslam, Oussama Atar (who allegedly died in Syria), Mohamed Abrini, Sofien Ayari, Osama Krayem, Ali El Haddad Asufi, Bilal El Makhoukhi, Hervé Bayingana Muhirwa and the brothers Smail and Ibrahim Farisi will all appear before the Brussels Assize Court next year.

They will have to answer to charges including murder, attempted murder committed in a terrorist context and/or participation in the activities of a terrorist group. Some will only have to answer for participation in the activities of a terrorist group.

"The trial should begin at the courthouse Justitia during the month of September 2022, on a date still to be specified by the Court of Appeal of Brussels," the federal prosecutor's spokesperson added. The Justitia courthouse is situated in the former buildings occupied by Nato in Evere.

On 22 March 2016, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Brussels international airport and a third on a train at Maelbeek metro station in Brussels.

Investigators linked the gang that carried out the attacks in Belgium to the earlier attacks in Paris in November 2015.

Written by Nick Amies