Great Mosque leaders accused of perjury during hearings

Summary

The chair of the federal parliament’s commission investigating the March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels and Zaventem has said that one of the two witnesses from Brussels’ main mosque is lying

Extension of deadline requested

Patrick Dewael, the chair of the parliamentary investigative commission investigating the terrorist attacks of March 2016, has filed a complaint against the chair of the Great Mosque in Brussels and the mosque’s imam, alleging one or the other committed perjury when they appeared in hearings before the commission last month.

Speaking under oath, the two men gave contradictory testimony regarding the mosque’s involvement in the radicalisation of young people and recruitment of young men to fight in Syria.

Both imam Mohamed Galaye N’Diaye and Jamal Saleh Momenah of the Islamic Cultural Centre  attached to the mosque – claimed that the institution practises a moderate form of Islam, countering critics who claim it is backed by Saudi Arabia and practises a radical form of the religion.

Dewael (pictured) will turn the contested testimony over to the prosecutor-general at the court of appeal, who will decide whether to prosecute. Perjury carries a sentence of two months to three years.

In related news, Dewael (Open VLD) told VRT that he plans to request an extension of his commission’s deadline, which is 30 April, to allow it to complete its enquiries. The commission would now like to look into the official recognition of mosques and the conditions they are required to meet.

Photo: Bruno Fahy/BELGA