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Brussels Jewish museum shooting suspect charged with murder

(JTA) — The Frenchman suspected of killing four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium has been charged with murder.

The charge was filed in Belgian federal court on Wednesday against Mehdi Nemmouche, the Associated Press reported.

Nemmouche, extradited by France, arrived in Brussels on Tuesday and was interrogated.

“Since his arrival, he has been interrogated by the counter-terrorism unit of the federal judiciary police of Brussels, as well as by the investigating judge,” the Belgian federal prosecutors’ office said in a statement. “He has been charged with murder in a terrorist context and an arrest warrant has been delivered on his behalf.”

He was extradited a month after filing an appeal over an order approved by a Versailles court allowing Nemmouche’s extradition to Belgium to face murder charges.

Nemmouche, 29, reportedly appealed the order because Belgium has not given assurances that it would not extradite him to a third country. He originally had refused extradition, then changed his mind on condition that he not be ordered sent to a third country, namely Israel, for trial. Two of the people murdered in the attack were Israeli.

A French volunteer at the museum and a Belgian employee also were killed in the attack.

Nemmouche has been in police custody on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and possession of weapons since his arrest on May 30 in the southern French city of Marseille.

French police said June 1 that they believed Nemmouche committed the May 24 murders at the Jewish Museum of Belgium and then traveled to Marseille on a bus. He was arrested at a routine customs inspection of the passengers on the bus, which left from Amsterdam via Brussels to France.

Nemmouche, who lived in the French city of Roubaix on the border with Belgium, had spent several years in a French jail for armed robbery. French authorities believe he left for Syria via Belgium to fight with jihadists in 2012 before returning to Europe.

 

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