2016 Brussels attacks trial: Prosecution starts reading of bill of indictment
At the trial on the 22 March 2016 attacks in Brussels and Zaventem on Tuesday, federal prosecutors Paule Somers and Bernard Michel began the reading of the bill of indictment. Somers started by outlining the geopolitical situation in Syria and Iraq.
They also discussed the run-up to the attacks of 22 March 2016. The police had cornered the terror cell. That caused them to take action faster than planned, in a different location. Furthermore, the prosecutors discussed the facts themselves, the initial findings at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station, and the investigation.
Finally, the prosecutors embarked on the topic of the Belgian cell, which makes up the bulk of the bill. Tuesday covered the kamikazes - the Bakraoui brothers, Najim Laachraoui and Mohamed Belkaid. On Wednesday, the prosecutors will move on to the accused.
Nothing more was said about the commotion surrounding the conditions of detention and transfer of the accused. On Monday, defendant Mohamed Abrini had threatened to remain silent for the entire trial in protest against the conditions of his transfer from prison to the courthouse. The accused Osama Krayem, who has been refusing to cooperate for several days, did not attend the reading.
This drawing by Jonathan De Cesare shows Belgian federal public prosecutor Paule Somers at a session of the trial of the attacks of March 22, 2016. © BELGA PHOTO JONATHAN DE CESARE