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Suspected Brussels Jewish museum killer to stand trial, says lawyer

Benoît Peyrucq, AFP | This court drawing made on June 26, 2014, shows Mehdi Nemmouche (C), the 29-year-old suspected gunman in a quadruple murder at the Brussels Jewish Museum, during a court hearing in Versailles, France.

Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche was ordered Thursday to stand trial in Brussels for allegedly killing four people at a Jewish museum four years ago in a jihadist attack, his lawyer said.

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Judges decided there was enough evidence to try Nemmouche, 33, and alleged accomplice Nacer Bendrer, who is also French, in the Belgian capital for the attack in 2014, lawyer Henri Laquay told AFP.

He did not name a date but the trial is expected to begin later this year or early next year.

The judges decided there was not enough evidence to put Mounir Attalah, a third Frenchman linked to the attack, on trial.

On May 24, 2014 a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire in the entrance hall of the museum in the centre of the Belgian capital, killing two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer and a Belgian museum receptionist.

Six days later Nemmouche was arrested in the southern French port city of Marseille when getting off a bus from Brussels.

Nemmouche had returned from Syria where he had been fighting with Islamist extremists.

Nacer Bendrer was formally charged as an accomplice in the attack in February 2015 in Brussels, two months after his arrest near Marseille in possession of various weapons.

These included a Kalachnikov assault rifle like the one used at the Jewish museum.

Nemmouche has been linked to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader of the November 13, 2015 Paris gun and bombing attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds of others.

Abaaoud died in a police shootout near the French capital days after the massacre.

The Paris attacks were allegedly plotted in Brussels by the same cell that carried out the suicide bombings in the Belgian capital's airport and a metro train station on March 22, 2016, killing 32 people.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks and the Brussels 2016 attacks.

(AFP)

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