Terrorism: Long prison sentences in the trial over the Brussels attacks

Long prison sentences in the trial over the Brussels attacks

An ambulance drives past the destroyed facade of the Zaventem airport terminal. (archive image) photo

© Peter Dejong/AP/dpa

In March 2016, Islamist attackers in Brussels killed dozens of people and injured several hundred. Now the final verdict has been pronounced for the time being.

In the trial surrounding the Islamist attacks in 2016 In Brussels, with dozens of deaths and several hundred injuries, several men have been sentenced to long prison sentences. This was announced by a jury in the Belgian capital, according to the Belga news agency.

The men had already been found guilty in July of, among other things, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder, and now it was a question of the exact sentence.

According to the information, the prison sentences ranged from ten years to life imprisonment. Salah Abdeslam, the main perpetrator of the 2015 Paris attacks, who was also charged in Brussels, received no additional prison sentence because he had already been sentenced to 20 years in prison for another crime in Belgium.

The terrorist attacks at the Belgian capital’s airport and at a subway station on March 22, 2016 left 35 people dead and 340 injured.

Consultations at an unknown location

Unlike the decision on guilt and innocence in July, the twelve jurors did not decide alone, but together with the court. Since Monday, the jury as well as the chairwoman of the court and her two associate judges have been housed in an unknown location for deliberations and isolated from the outside world.

A total of ten men were charged with the attacks in Brussels. However, one person was missing from court in July: it is assumed that he has now died in Syria.

Before the attacks in Brussels, extremists killed 130 people and injured 350 others in a series of attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015. The attacks in Paris and Brussels were probably orchestrated by the same terrorist cell, which is why six of those convicted in Paris were also on trial in Brussels – including the main defendant in the Paris trial, Salah Abdeslam.

The public interest in the trial with more than 900 co-plaintiffs was huge – which is why the trial was conducted in converted rooms at the former NATO headquarters in the northeast of the city.


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