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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:49, November 17, 2005
Belgian terror suspects on trial over bombing attacks in Morocco, Madrid
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The trial of 13 Belgian terror suspects linked to bomb attacks in Morocco and Madrid officially started in Brussels Court on Wednesday.

The men were accused of links to the terror network Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group(GICM) which is suspected of being responsible for the Casablanca bomb attacks in Morocco in May 2003 and the Madrid train bombings in Spain in March 2004.

The suspects were arrested in Maaseik and Brussels between March and July last year on allegations they provided logistical support to the GICM.

One of the Belgian suspects is accused of assisting the Casablanca bombers, while the group is accused of providing logistical support for the Madrid bombings.

Some 17 suspects faced legal proceedings in August, 13 of whom were ordered to stand trial.

A total of 11 suspects appeared at the procedural hearing at the start of this month.

Defense lawyers claimed two weeks ago that while the men sympathize with the GICM, they are not active members of the organization and are certainly not terrorists, local broadcaster VRT reported.

The trial represents the first time that a special terrorism law enacted in 2003 will be applied. The new law could result in the men being jailed for up to 10 years if convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization.

Tight security will be in force around Brussels Court for the duration of proceedings. The trial will involve four days of hearings each week, with a fifth day reserved to clarify matters if needed.

The trial is scheduled to continue until 13 December, but may extend beyond that date.

Source: Xinhua

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