Jewish museum terror attack trial opens in Brussels

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The trial opened yesterday of a “very polite” Frenchman accused of shooting four people dead at a Jewish museum in Brussels, allegedly the first Syria veteran to stage a terror attack in Europe.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, who was in court, faces a life sentence if convicted of the killings in the Belgian capital on May 24, 2014, following his return from Syria’s battlefields.

Both Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer, a fellow Frenchman aged 30 who allegedly supplied the weapons, were due to hear the 200-page charge sheet against them in the first two days of the trial being held in a Brussels criminal court under heavy security.

Accompanied by two police officers in balaclavas, Nemmouche sat down in the dock wearing an orange sweater. He gave his name at the judge’s request.

Bendrer, who could also be jailed for life if convicted, sat about two metres from him dressed in a black sweater, accompanied by a female police officer whose face was visible.