Suspected Belgium Jewish Museum Shooter Appears in Court Ahead of Start of Trial Next Month
The suspected perpetrator of the May 2014 shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium that left four people dead made a court appearance in Brussels on Thursday ahead of the scheduled start of his trial next month.
Mehdi Nemmouche — a 33-year-old French national of Algerian origin — was arrested at a train station in Marseilles a week after the attack.
On Thursday, Nemmouche’s lawyer, Sebastien Courtoy, said his client would plead innocent.
Before the attack, Nemmouche had spent more than a year in Syria fighting for ISIS.
It is believed Nemmouche was radicalized during a 2007-2012 stint in French prison.
An alleged accomplice in the museum attack, 30-year-old Nacer Bendrer, also appeared in court on Thursday.
The attack was the first of a series in Europe believed to have been carried out by ISIS members who had returned home from Syria.
In the shooting, an Israeli tourist couple — Emanuel and Miriam Riva — and two museum employees — Belgian man Alexandre Strens and French woman Dominique Sabrier — were murdered.
Parts of the attack — which lasted less than a minute and a half — were recorded by security cameras. The assailant was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and a handgun.
The trial is set to commence on Jan. 10.