Terrorist attack trial in Brussels postponed due to ‘glass box’ fumbling


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The trial for the 2016 Brussels attacks, which is due to begin next month, has been postponed for several weeks to replace controversial glass boxes intended for the suspects, the court said Friday.

The assize court said an Oct. 10 hearing to select the jury was canceled after the Justice Department confirmed that a new Defendant box request would not arrive on time.

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The delay came after a preliminary hearing earlier this month ended in a huge controversy over the installation of individual transparent cells for the suspects.

Defense lawyers argued that they could not freely confer with their clients and requested that the booths be removed, which a judge agreed to.

Luc Hennart, a court spokesman, told TUSEN “there has been a delay of several weeks” to resolve the issue in the courtroom, which is purpose-built in the former NATO military alliance headquarters.

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Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told Flemish public radio on Friday that he expected a delay of “weeks instead of months”.

Nine alleged members of the Islamic State (IS) group cell that launched both the March 2016 suicide bombings in Belgium and the November 2015 attacks in Paris have been charged with terrorism.

The Belgian attacks, which targeted three suicide bombers at Brussels airport and a crowded underground metro station, killed 32 people and destroyed the lives of hundreds of injured or traumatized survivors.

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A tenth suspect, the suspected terror campaign planner, is believed to be killed and will be tried in absentia.




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