The Belgian court condemned Eight of the suspects of the March 22 terrorist attacks 2016 in Brussels: Six are found responsible for the terrorist killing and two others for belonging to a terrorist group. In addition, the ruling raises from 32 to 35 the final death toll in the attacks that took place seven years ago at the Belgian capital’s airport and a central metro station. Among those convicted of murder is Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect and sole survivor of the terrorist attack in Paris a few months ago. The verdict came after a seven-month trial and 18-hour deliberation, the longest in Belgian judicial history.
The six defendants found guilty of the murder are, in addition to Abd al-Salam, Muhammad Abrini, Osama Karim, Ali Al-Haddad Asoufi, Bilal Al-Mukhoukhi and Osama Attar. The latter was tried in absentia, as he was presumed dead. The Islamic State (IS) announced his death in 2019, although the Belgian state could not confirm this. Atar was also declared head of the terrorist organization that prepared the attacks in Brussels.
Two other defendants were acquitted of premeditated murder: Sufyan Ayari and Irvi Baingana Muherwa, who were both convicted of belonging to a terrorist group. For their part, the two brothers, Ismail and Ibrahim Farsi, were acquitted of their crimes. The reading of the lengthy verdict continued after the most important accusations were known.
In principle, the conviction The fault of the French Abdel Salam And the Belgian-Moroccan Mohamed Abrini will not have a real impact on them, as they have already been sentenced to life in prison in France for the attacks that took place in Saint-Denis and the Bataclan theater in November 2015 in the French capital.
In deciding whether the 10 defendants were guilty or innocent, the people’s jury, consisting of 12 members (it had 24 alternates) had to answer 287 questions. The verdict is awaiting not only because of the length of the trial and the final deliberation. Also due to the delay in the announcement, scheduled for two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, and finally announced five and a half hours later.
On Tuesday, only the jury’s verdict is known. On the other hand, the verdict will already be known in September, when the 12 components of the jury and three judges will meet again to announce the verdicts.
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The increase in the number of deaths from 32 to 35 is due to the fact that the jury considered that the subsequent deaths of three victims were directly related to the attacks, even though they occurred months and even years later. One of them took place in May 2022, after the victim had undergone euthanasia due to the mental anguish caused by the aftermath of the attack that was deemed unbearable. Another, who was battling cancer that was under control thanks to medication, had to interrupt treatment due to injuries caused by the explosion in the subway and ended up dying on October 28, 2017. The third victim suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and committed suicide on April 18, 2021.
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