Belgium: Lawyer in Jewish museum murder trial defiant after fake gun ‘threats’ (lead)

February 1, 2019

A court sketch made on January 22, 2019 at the Brussels Justice Palace, shows people watching video images during the trial of French jihadist Mehdi Nemmouche, accused of shooting four people dead at a Jewish museum in Brussels on May 24, 2014, allegedly the first Syria jihad veteran to stage a terror attack in Europe. (Igor Preys/BELGA/AFP)

A lawyer for a survivor of the Brussels Jewish museum attack said Wednesday he found a fake rifle in his office after a burglary, denouncing a climate of “fear” and “threats” he would defy.


Lawyer Vincent Lurquin reported his laptop and two files — including one dealing with the deadly anti-Semitic gun attack in May 2014 — were missing from his Brussels office.

“The plaintiff also found on his desk a baseball bat and a replica of a Kalashnikov-type weapon,” the Brussels prosecutors’ office said.

“Advised of the facts, the Brussels prosecutors’ office immediately opened an investigation for burglary and threats using symbols.”

Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, is on trial in Brussels charged with shooting dead four people at the museum with a pistol and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Lurquin, lawyer for survivor Clara Billeke Villalobos, an 81-year-old Chilean artist, said he would not be intimidated.

“Those who want to frighten us will not succeed,” Lurquin told Belgian media.

“We will continue to help (jurors) judge without hatred, without fear. With the threats that may be sent to us, we will not yield to blackmail,” the lawyer said.

“This is also part of the job of being a lawyer,” Lurquin added. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (VLAAMS) (VLAAMS)

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