Several victims of the attacks in Brussels and Zaventem accidentally received a convocation letter as a candidate juror for the terror trial that will start in Brussels on 5 December. Luc Hennart, spokesperson for the Brussels assize court, confirms this.
According to Hennart, one of the many bailiffs called in by the judiciary went wrong. They must not only summon a thousand candidate jurors, but also the approximately thousand civil parties. The first page of the documents for the jurors accidentally ended up with several victims. “As far as I know, it remains limited in the current state of affairs. Five people have contacted the registry,” Hennart confirms.
“They have been reassured. A civil party cannot possibly become a jury member.” It is a regrettable mistake, said the spokesman.
Composition of the jury
The terror trial will actually start on December 5, but the jury will first be composed on November 30. 12 actual jurors and 24 alternates must then be selected by lot, all of whom are expected to attend the full trial. In total, 1,000 candidate jurors have been called up, of which about 300 have already been released.
About 700 candidate jurors must therefore present themselves next Wednesday. If they fail to do so, they risk fines of 400 to 1,000 euros, multiplied by so-called surcharges, which currently amounts to a factor of 8.
The names of all candidate jury members, who will take their places in the various rooms, will be called on Wednesday from 9 am. Candidate jury members will then have the opportunity to ask the chairwoman for an exemption. Their names will then be placed in an urn and a lottery will be drawn.
After the drawing of lots, both the defense and the public prosecutor still have the right to challenge eighteen actual or deputy jurors each drawn by lot. They don’t have to give a reason for that. Finally, if more than eight jurors of the same sex are drawn, the chairwoman can also challenge jurors.
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