The largest trial in Belgian history has begun. Last Minute EUROPE, Belgium, France, CURRENT headlines and events

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The trial of 10 people accused of involvement in the 2016 Brussels suicide attacks that killed 32 people and injured more than 300 began today.

The seven-month trial also marked the beginning of a difficult process for those who lost loved ones, were injured or witnessed the attacks in the double airport bombings and the third subway bombing on 22 March. , 2016.

About 1,000 people registered to attend the hearings.

“It was very difficult for me to sleep last night,” Christel Giovannetti, who wears a hearing aid because she was injured in a subway explosion, told reporters ahead of the trial.

Sylvie Ingels, who was near the first bomb at the airport, also said she has been having nightmares lately.

“If I came here today, then I must take a step and go beyond my fears. It’s very important to be here. They are judged here, but this is our business too. We are waiting for answers,” Ingels said. .

Nine defendants charged with multiple terrorism-related murders and attempted murders have been sentenced to life in prison. 10 people are also accused of participating in the activities of a terrorist group.

One of these persons is under trial in absentia; however, the defendant is believed to have been killed in Syria.

Chief Justice Lawrence Massard confirmed the identities of the defendants.

All the defendants answered the questions, except for Osama Krayem, a citizen of Sweden, who was accused of planning to become the second terrorist in the subway.

Paris connection

The six defendants were convicted last June for involvement in the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

But the court in Belgium will be different in that the guilty will be determined by the jury, not the judges.

15 men and 17 women, citizens of Belgium, the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, England, China, France, Germany, India, Peru and Poland, died in the attacks in Brussels, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. Most of the victims lived in the city where the institutions of the European Union and NATO are located.

All three suicide bombers died in the explosions.

Among the defendants is Mohammed Abrini, who prosecutors say went to the airport with two suicide bombers but escaped without detonating his suitcase full of explosives.

Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris case, is among those under investigation in the Belgian capital.

Under Belgian judicial procedure, the defendants did not plead innocence or guilt.

Prosecutors are expected to begin reading the 486-page indictment tomorrow, before hearing about 370 experts and witnesses.

The lawsuit at the former NATO headquarters is estimated at at least 35 million euros.

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