2016 Brussels terror attacks trial: Presiding Judge exempts two hundred prospective jurors

On Wednesday morning, the Belgian Court of Assizes started assembling the jury for the long-awaited trial of the 2016 Brussels terror suspects. Around 7 pm, the presiding judge Florence Massart finished hearing all jurors' exemption requests. Two hundred prospective jurors were granted an exemption. After a short break, the court will draw twelve effective and twenty-four replacement judges.

A total of 1,000 prospective jurors were summoned, 339 of whom had already been granted an exemption before the hearing. In addition, two hundred prospective jurors were granted an exemption on Wednesday.

Despite the risk of high fines, not all summoned prospective jurors showed up on Wednesday, further narrowing the remaining candidates. The jury will be drawn from about 250 remaining prospective jurors, Assize Court spokesman Luc Hennart confirmed.

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. 



Presiding Judge Laurence Massart during at the composition of the jury for the 2016 Brussels terror attacks trial on Wednesday 30 November 2022 © BELGA PHOTO POOL DIDIER LEBRUN

Related stories

Website preview
2016 Brussels terror attacks: Trial launches Wednesday with jury assembly
The Belgian Court of Assizes will on Wednesday assemble the jury for the long-awaited trial of the 2016 Brussels terror suspects. Delayed nearly two months due to a dispute about the glass boxes constructed for the defendants, the trial is set to start in earnest on 5 December.
Website preview
2016 Brussels terror attacks: The ten on trial
Ten defendants are standing trial for the 2016 Brussels attacks in which 32 people were killed and around 340 injured. Jury selection for the trial starts on 30 November and the entire procedure is expected to last nine months. Among the ten on trial are ringleaders Salah Abdeslam, Mohammed Abrini and Ossama Krayem, who earlier this year were convicted of orchestrating the November 2015 Paris attacks. Here is an overview of the defendants:
Website preview
2016 Brussels terror attacks: Investigation overview
Nearly seven years since the 2016 Brussels terror attacks, the trial of ten male suspects will be launched in Belgium on 30 November. After a judicial investigation that took over three years, in September 2021 the Brussels indictment chamber referred ten suspects to Belgium’s Assize Court, which deals with the most serious cases.
Website preview
22 March 2016: The day Belgium was rocked by the deadliest terror attack in its history
On Tuesday 22 March 2016 at 7:58 am, two terrorists detonated suicide vests in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. It marked the beginning of a long, frightening day that left 32 dead and some 340 injured. Now Belgium embarks on its biggest ever trial, with ten defendants facing prosecution for the atrocities carried out almost seven years ago.


Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels