trial of 2016 attacks postponed for logistical reasons

trial of 2016 attacks postponed for logistical reasons

Because of the boxes of the accused deemed contrary to the rights of the defense, the trial of the attacks of March 22, 2016 has been postponed.

With our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Benazet

The victims of terrorist attacks of March 22, 2016 will still have to wait to know the judicial outcome of this trial. The trial has been postponed because of the defendants’ box which must undergo work.

For good reason, the individual boxes in which the accused were to appear were deemed contrary to the rights of the defense by the President of the Assize Court. The public prosecutor had had them built for security reasons and, also, in the hope of avoiding contamination at the Covid-19.

But problem, they confined each defendant in a glazed space of one meter by two which prevented a real direct contact with their lawyers. These boxes must therefore be dismantled, but the work will not be completed in time for the next hearing scheduled for October 10.

The President of the Assize Court therefore decided to postpone sine die the opening of this trial, because the project manager cannot even guarantee that the new defendant’s box will be ready before 6 to 7 weeks.

The approximately 800 people called for the selection of the members of the jury will be recalled at a later date. Beyond the estimated cost of 250,000 euros, just for the construction of the boxes which must now disappear, this false start arouses criticism from victims’ associations. For many of them, it is a hiccup that damages the image of Belgian justice and they hope that this trial will still be held in serenity.

The facilities provided for the dock of the accused had already caused several incidents during the session during the preliminary hearing on September 12.