Brussels attacks: the trial gets bogged down in controversy

The trial of the March 2016 attacks in Brussels began on Monday 5 December.

© Petra Urban / AP

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On March 22, 2016, suicide attacks claimed by the Islamic State group left 32 dead and several hundred injured at the airport and in the metro of the Belgian capital.

But, since its opening, the trial has come up against the security conditions imposed on the accused detainees.


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With our correspondent in Brussels,

Laure Broulard


trial of the attacks of March 22, 2016 in Belgium

is still mired in controversy.

The hearing of the investigators should have started Tuesday, when the trial resumed after a truce during the holidays, but it was delayed because

of new litigation


On December 29, an interim relief judge seized by six of the seven defendants, including Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini, ordered a ban on systematic body searches, a daily practice deemed contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits “

inhuman or degrading treatment


Yet the subject has continued to plague the trial since it resumed after the holidays on Tuesday.

Several defense lawyers have indeed announced that the search procedure had not been modified, some defendants are therefore still not appearing in court and the suspensions of hearings are linked, delaying the progress of the trial on the merits of the case. case.

Latest incident: documents supposed to justify the intimate excavations were sent to the court in Dutch, they had to be translated into French during the hearing on Thursday, further delaying the process.

It was therefore only at the end of the afternoon that the debates which were to take place on Tuesday began, with the hearing of witnesses.

They will continue this Friday, but the controversy is not over.

According to the Belgian daily

Le Soir

, the defense is now threatening to appeal in cassation if the strip searches continue.


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