The jury that will try defendants charged in connection with the Brussels attacks on 22 March 2016 is being selected next Wednesday. Some 800 people have been identified as potential jurors and have been called up to attend the jury selection that will lead to the appointment of 36 jurors and reserve-jurors.
A particularly unfortunate mistake has occurred in this process: the justice department knows of at least five victims who have received an invitation for the jury selection process, but the total number could be more.
Spokesman Luc Hennart says the mistake happened at the bailiffs. Bailiffs have the job of calling up candidate jurors, but also inviting civil parties. It’s thought somebody messed up the paperwork.
“The civil parties don’t need to attend the jury selection” says Hennart. “It’s more than clear that civil parties can’t judge the case and can’t serve as jurors”.
The justice department is apologising to victims.