Guilty verdicts for both accused in Jewish Museum attack trial

A French national that is suspected of being a member Islamic State terror has convicted of the terrorist murders of four people in an attack carried out at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014. The attack was the first carried out in Europe by a jihadist returning from fighting in Syria.

The four people that were died were and Israeli couple, a Belgian that was employed at the museum and a French national that worked there as a volunteer.

He now risk a life sentence for the murder. When the verdict was read out on Thursday evening 33-year-old Nemmouche showed no emotion. The other accused in the trial Nacer Bendrer was also found guilty by the jury. He stood accused of having been an accomplice.    

The jury had deliberated for more than two days behind closed doors at a Brussels hotel before returning their verdict on Thursday evening.

Medhi Nemmouche was guilty of having killed all four victims in cold blood during the attack on 24 May 2014. During the trial he had denied the allegation, claiming that he had been “tricked”.

His Defence lawyers had argued that he was to blame for the killings and that he had been caught up in a plot that had targeted the Israeli state security service agency Mossad.

"Complete nonsense"

Nemmouche’s lawyers based their argument around the death of the Israeli who they claimed were Mossad agents. The defence counsel claimed that the Israelis had been hunted and killed by someone other than Medhi Nemmouche and that their deaths had nothing to do with IS.  

The family’s lawyers furiously rejected the theory, and said attempts to pass off the tourists as secret agents were “an absolute scandal”.

The Prosecutor described the defence’s arguments as “complete nonsense”.

The woman worked for Mossad as an accountant and she was not operational. 

Arrested in Marseille

Another French national Nacer Bendrer, 30, who was accused of supplying the weapons, was found guilty of having been an accomplice to Medhi Nemmouch in the attack.  At the trial, Bendrer admitted that Nemmouche had asked him for a Kalashnikov when he came to Brussels in early April, but claimed he never delivered it.

Medhi Nemmouche was arrested 6 days after the attack was arrested in the southern French city of Marseille in possession of a revolver and an assault rifle.  

Gunshot residue was also found on a jacket belonging to Nemmouche as was a computer with six films claiming Arrested in Marseille responsibility for the attack. The voice-over was believed to have been recorded by Nemmouche.