French Islamist gets life term for Jewish Museum shootings

A court in Belgium has awarded life sentence to a Frenchman for carrying out a terrorist attack on a Jewish Museum in Brussels, above, in 2014 in which four people were killed.

Medhi Nemmouche, 33, told the Brussels court that “life goes on” after his sentencing on Monday.

Nemmouche, who had fought for Islamic State in Syria, said he felt no remorse for killing two museum workers Dominique Sabrier and Alexandre Strens and an Israeli couple Myriam and Emmanuel Riva on a holiday on 24 May.

But his accomplice Nacer Bendrer, also a Frenchman who was sentenced to 15 years in jail, told the court he felt ashamed of helping “a monster” (Nemmouche) to plan the attack and supplying him with weapons.

During the trial, two French journalists testified that Nemmouche was anti-Semitic.

Nemmouche was arrested in Marseille a week after the attack. Weapons, ammunition and an Islamic State flag were seized from his home. Bendrer was also arrested in Marseille in December 2014.

Ahead of the sentencing, prosecutor Yves Moreau called Nemmouche a coward who enjoyed shooting people from behind with an assault rifle.
Nemmouche will kill more if he gets out of jail, the prosecutor said while seeking tough punishment to the shooter.

Nemmouche’s lawyers sought a lighter punishment by arguing that he was framed by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, for the killing of two of their agents.

The families of victims and survivors, who were outraged by the conspiracy theory, heaved a sigh of relief when the verdict was read.

Nemmouche’s lawyers said he would not appeal the sentence.

Welcoming the verdict, the Jewish Museum said justice has been done and it is a victory against hatred.