The trial of the suspect of the attacks in Paris resumes without him in Belgium
Belgian soldiers stand guard at the entrance to the Palace of Justice in Brussels early on Thursday, February 8, the second day of the trial of Salah Abdeslam
The trial of Salah Abdeslam, considered the only living jihadist of the commandos who attempted in Paris in 2015, resumed on Thursday, in the absence of the accused, in Brussels, where they are judged by a shooting with the police.
Abdeslam informed the court that he did not want to appear again. His lawyer Sven Mary affirmed this Thursday at the resumption of the hearing that he agrees to continue representing his client.
At the first hearing, on Monday, Abdeslam refused to answer questions from the judges, claimed his Muslim faith and launched a tirade against justice and the media.
“I am not afraid of you, I am not afraid of your allies, of your associates, I put my trust in Allah and that is all,” said the 28-year-old Moroccan Frenchman, the only living member of the jihadist commandos who perpetrated the attacks. attacks of November 2015.
On Thursday, the other accused, the Tunisian Sofiane Ayari, an accomplice in the escape of Abdeslam after the shooting of March 15, 2016 near Brussels, will appear only on the second – and probably last – day of the trial.
After two last arguments of the civil parties, the lawyers of the defense will intervene, who will surely oppose the 20 years of jail, with 13 of obligatory fulfillment, that the Belgian federal public prosecutor demanded Monday against both accused.
Both are judged for “attempted murder of several policemen” and “possession of prohibited weapons”, all “in a terrorist context”.
Until the day of his intervention, the lawyer of Abdeslam did not give any indication on the arguments that he will present.
“There is evidence in this case, tangible, scientific evidence, I would like us to base ourselves on that (…) and not to act to satisfy public opinion,” Abdeslam said Monday.
The scientific police found a trace of his DNA in the house where the shooting took place, in the Brussels municipality of Forest, but not in the two assault rifles found by the agents.
– ‘Anchored in the ideology of the EI’ –
The Belgian press on Wednesday said the dilemma of having to defend a defendant who considers his judges as “illegitimate.”
On March 15, 2016, French and Belgian police were surprised by shots during the registration of an apartment in Forest, in the framework of the investigation of the attacks that left 130 dead on November 13, 2015 in Paris.
The floor, which researchers hoped to find empty, turned out to be one of the shelters used by the jihadist cell that perpetrated the attacks in Paris and also those in Brussels, where 32 people died on March 22, 2016.
Three policemen were wounded and a jihadist of 35-year-old Algerian origin, Mohamed Belkaid, died when he confronted the agents to cover the escape of Abdeslam and Ayari.
The security forces detained both jihadists three days later, on March 18, in the Brussels town of Molenbeek, an arrest that investigators consider to be the trigger for the March 22 attacks in the Belgian capital.
On Monday, the federal prosecutor, Kathleen Grosjean, declared that Abdeslam and Ayari could be considered as co-authors of the shootings against the police, and stressed that both were “very anchored in the ideology of [the jihadist group] Islamic State.”
The Brussels trial is considered a preamble to the one that will take place in France for the attacks of November 2015.