On the first day of the trial in Nemmouche, the two irreconcilable propositions

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Sketch of the public from the first day of the trial against the Jewish Museum of Brussels, on 10 January. On the left, one of the accused, Mehdi Nemmouche.
Sketch of the public from the first day of the trial against the Jewish Museum of Brussels, on 10 January. On the left, one of the accused, Mehdi Nemmouche. BENOIT PEYRUCQ / AFP

About two hundred pages with an overwhelming indictment and, in spite of everything, the defense of his innocence by Mehdi Nemmouche. The assis- tance against assizes that began in Brussels on Thursday, January 10, requires twelve members of the popular jury to judge the guilt of the alleged perpetrator of the attack against the Jewish Museum of Belgium and his fellow offender, Nacer Bender, cutting it between two totally incompatible propositions.

The 33-year-old from Roubais, who presented himself to President Laurence Massart as "Mehdi Nemmouche, domiciled in the prison of Leuze-en-Hainaut, without appeal" is he the author of the shots that killed four people within 82 seconds on 24 May 2014? Or rather, as his advice, another victim of a plot to hide the targeted killings of an Israeli couple, Emmanuel and Miriam Riva?

Read also The capricious youth of Mehdi Nemmouche

Their choice will in any case determine whether we were right or not, because we thought what happened in Brussels on 24 May 2014 was the first company in the series of Islamic terrorist attacks that culminated in the November 13, 2015, in Paris and 22 March 2016 in Brussels, where a total of more than 160 people were killed and hundreds injured. Or when photographing the museum, which was traumatizing Belgium, and especially its Jewish community "No attack" and " not the fact of a single man ", as argued by Sébastien Courtoy, the principal lawyer of the French defendant.

Mohamed Merah, one of his heroes

To hear the two federal prosecutors starting on Thursday, the story of a very long investigation, everything overwhelmed Nemmouche. First, the testimonies of the passersby or the inhabitants of the rue des Minimes, the headquarters of the museum, describing methodical murders, carried out in cold blood by a man who gave them the impression of being a soldier.

Then, the arrest of the suspect, six days later, in Marseille while wearing an assault rifle and a pistol caliber. 38 – weapons used in Brussels – as well as a series of objects, clothing and cuttings that all have to do with events in the Belgian capital. There are also camera surveillance footage of the Minimesstraat, which filmed the same day and the day before a person who was dressed differently, but every time, furiously thinking of this Nemmouche who never hated him Jews and made Mohamed Merah, the author of the murders Toulouse and Montauban, one of his heroes. There is finally – and the list of clues is far from closed – a voice. The one who, on images destroyed but reconstructed by the researchers, claims the attack and shows a sheet stamped with a signature from the organization Islamic State (EI).