Jewish Museum shooting suspect denies involvement in attack

Summary

The man arrested in France for the murder of three people last month in Brussels’ Jewish Museum denies he carried out the crime, despite evidence found in his belongings

Nemmouche will fight extradition to Belgium

Mehdi Nemmouche, who is in custody in France accused of the shooting deaths of three people in Brussels’ Jewish Museum last month, is now denying the attack. Nemmouche, 29, was arrested in Marseille last week in possession of a revolver, a Kalashnikov rifle and ammunition, but now claims the weapons were stolen from a vehicle in Belgium.

“It seems that the weapons in his possession are stolen,” said his lawyer, Apolin Pepiezep. “He was planning to sell them in Marseilles. We think the French justice system can handle this case and has the power to convict Nemmouche for illegal possession of firearms.”

A video camera was also found in Nemmouche’s belongings, which shows him talking about his planned attack in Brussels. He can be clearly seen holding the weapons in question.

Pepiezep said that Nemmouche will fight any attempt to extradite him to Belgium to stand trial for three counts of terrorist murder and one of terrorist attempted murder. The lawyer said he would use “every legal means available” to prevent extradition, which could delay any trial for several months.

Yesterday, federal interior minister Joëlle Milquet accompanied her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, to lay a wreath in front of the Jewish Museum. “The people of France and Belgium are united in sorrow today,” Cazeneuve said.

Three people died in the attack, an Israeli couple and a French woman. A Belgian man who worked at the museum was severely injured, but continues to recover in hospital.

Photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters/Corbis

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