Former NATO HQ becomes courthouse

In a month’s time a new courtroom will open in the former NATO headquarters building in Haren (City of Brussels).  The new courtroom, dubbed ‘Justitia’, is intended to accommodate Belgium’s biggest trials.

One of the first cases to be staged here will be the case against defendants suspected of involvement in the Brussels attacks at Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station on 22 March 2016. This trial involves 900 interested parties.  Lawyers will attend in large numbers and as this is a jury trial before the court of assises it could take around nine months.  Staging the court case at the Palace of Justice was a non-starter.

It’s two years since NATO moved into its new headquarters on the opposite side of the road freeing up the old premises for a new destination. Corona distance restrictions also meant many other cases couldn’t go ahead in downtown Brussels.  They will now be staged at ‘Justitia’.

A decision on who will face charges in the terrorism trial is expected on 7 and 18 December.

The old NATO conference room that is being turned into a courtroom
Alexander Dumarey
A blast from the past
Alexander Dumarey

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