Brussels Jewish Museum attacker gets life sentence | News | DW | 12.03.2019
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Brussels Jewish Museum attacker gets life sentence

The French jihadist told the court "life goes on" before a jury sentenced him to life in prison. Mehdi Nemmouche was convicted last week for the murder of four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014.

A Belgium court on Monday sentenced a French jihadist to life in prison for murdering four people at Brussel's Jewish Museum in 2014.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, was found guilty earlier this month of committing "four terrorist murders" when he gunned down an Israeli couple and two museum workers in cold blood in less than 90 seconds on May 24, 2014.

"Mr. Nemmouche, you are just a coward, you kill people by shooting them from behind, you kill old women by shooting them with an assault rifle, you kill because it gives you pleasure to kill," prosecutor Yves Moreau said before 12 jurors convened to consider the sentencing.

"He will get out of jail and he'll go on another crusade and start killing again," he told the jury, urging them to issue a tough sentence. 

Nemmouche, who carried out the rampage after coming back from Syria, in his last comments before jury sentencing deliberations, told the court with a smirk on his face that "life goes on."

The court last week also found Nemmouche's accomplice, French citizen Nacer Bendrer, guilty of supplying the revolver and assault rifle used in the attack. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"I am ashamed to be here... I am ashamed to have crossed paths with this guy. He is not a man, he is a monster," Bendrer told the court.

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Defense of conspiracy theories

Prosecutors said the attack was the first carried out by a jihadist returning from fighting with armed groups in Syria.

Nemmouche's defense lawyers had argued he had been caught up in a plot organized by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. 

Nemmouche's legal team claimed that video footage of the attack was faked and that the defendant was framed for the killing of two Mossad agents.

The defense's arguments outraged the families of the victims as well as survivors of the attack.

cw/aw (AFP, Reuters)

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