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Alleged Brussels Jewish Museum gunman fights extradition to Belgium

Mehdi Nemmouche
Mehdi Nemmouche AFP

A French court said it would rule next Thursday on whether alleged Brussels gunman Mehdi Nemmouche can be handed over to Belgium. His lawyer said he needed more time to prepare his arguments as his client formally confirmed he was contesting the handover to Belgian authorities. 

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Nemmouche, who is is accused of killing three people and leaving another in a critical state after opening fire on the Brussels Jewish Museum on 24 May, appeared in court in Versailles on Thursday morning.

He had been fast-tracked in a procedure that could have lasted several weeks, having been formally informed that Belgium had issued an international arrest warrant on Wednesday.

“We want him to be judged in France firstly because he is French and is in France,” his lawyer, Apolin Pepiezep said on Wednesday, pointing out that the charge of transporting arms against his client relates to an offence allegedly committed on French soil and does not figure in the Belgian warrant.

On Monday French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve declared that it was “logical” that Nemmouche be extradited to Belgium and earlier in the week the prisoner appeared not to be opposing such a move.

Investigators in both countries are trying to establish if Nemmouche acted alone and whether he was planning further attacks.
 

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