2016 Brussels attacks trial: Belgian director Joachim Lafosse exempted from jury duty
On Wednesday, the Belgian director Joachim Lafosse appeared before the Brussels Court of Assizes as one of 1000 prospective jurors summoned for the trial of the 2016 Brussels terror attacks. The presiding judge exempted the director, best known for his 2021 film 'Les intranquilles', as a juror. Lafosse knew one of the victims killed in the attack at Maelbeek metro station.
The Belgian Court of Assizes started assembling the jury for the long-awaited trial of the 2016 Brussels terror suspects on Wednesday morning. A total of 1,000 prospective jurors were summoned, 339 of whom had already been granted an exemption before the hearing.
After nearly eight hours of session, the court is hearing the last exemption requests around 6 pm. Many argued they could not be jurors during the months-long trial for family or professional reasons. Some exemption requests were accepted on medical grounds or due to a close connection to the events.
The court will assemble a jury of twelve effective jurors and twenty-four alternates. After reviewing all exemption questions, the names of the remaining prospective jurors will be placed in an urn for lots to be drawn. Both the defence and prosecution may then each challenge eighteen effective or alternate jurors without stating a reason.
The presiding judge can also challenge jurors if more than eight have been drawn of the same sex. After jury selection, the trial of the 2016 Brussels terror attacks will start in earnest on 5 December.
Belgian director Joachim Lafosse © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT