Belgian prosecutors probe theft at attack lawyer's office


BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian prosecutors said Wednesday that they are investigating an apparent attempt to intimidate a lawyer in the trial of a suspect in the 2014 shooting attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum.

The Brussels prosecutor’s office said that a baseball bat and false Kalashnikov assault rifle were left on the lawyer’s desk after a theft at his office Tuesday. A laptop computer containing the case file of Mehdi Nemmouche, who stands accused of shooting dead four people at the museum, was stolen from the lawyer’s office.

State broadcaster RTBF named the lawyer as Vincent Lurquin, who was representing a woman at the museum when the attack happened.

“It’s part of a lawyer’s work and we mustn’t scare the jury,” Lurquin told RTBF. “The investigation is underway. We should continue calmly, without hatred or fear, for us and for the jury.”

Prosecutors say they are investigating the theft and intimidation, described as “threat by symbols.”

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Nemmouche is accused of carrying out one of the first attacks in Europe by a foreign fighter returned from Syria.

He is charged with “terrorist murder” for gunning down the four — an Israeli couple and two people working at the museum — with a revolver and an assault rifle. The 33-year-old Frenchman’s alleged accomplice, Nacer Bendrer, aged 30, is also appearing in court. Nemmouche has so far declined to give detailed testimony but has said that he will speak before the trial, scheduled to run until March 1, is over.

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