Trial of the Brussels attacks paralyzed for lack of defendants: the President of the court asks the police to ‘do their job’

Trial of the Brussels attacks paralyzed for lack of defendants: the President of the court asks the police to ‘do their job’

After being suspended this Wednesday morning, the trial of the Brussels attacks of March 22, 2016 resumed this Wednesday afternoon, around 1:40 p.m., with the hearing of Marc De Mesmaeker, the Commissioner General of the Federal Police. It was the President of the Court of Assizes who asked to hear him in the hope of unblocking the problem of the search of the accused detainees before their transfer to the court.

This recovery, however, was only short-lived. Shortly before 3:00 p.m., the hearing was again suspended until Thursday morning.

This Wednesday, earlier in the day, the hearing had been disrupted by the absence of seven defendants, the seven who are detained and must, every day, be transferred from prison to the courtroom. The seven detained defendants refused to go to court.

It is always the question of searches before going to the hearing that continues to pose a problem.

Five defendants, namely Mohamed Abrini, Osama Krayem, Sofien Ayari, Bilal El Makhoukhi et al Hervé Bayingana Muhirwa immediately refused to leave their cell.

Two other defendants, Salah Abdeslam and Ali El Haddad Asufi, left their cell to go to the search room. According to information collected by RTBF, they would have undressed their upper bodies for a first search party before dressing them. When it was then a question of undressing the bottom to continue the search, the two defendants would, in turn, have refused to go to court.

Only the defendants who appear free, Smaïl and Ibrahim Farisi, were present at the start of the hearing.

The President had suspended the hearing pending hearing the explanations of the General Commissioner of the Federal Police on the systematic nature or not of these searches and on the fact that they were individually motivated. On December 29, the defendants in this trial obtained an interim order prohibiting the systematic use of daily body searches. These excavations must also be motivated individually.

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