Belgium Hands Over Nemmouche to France Over 2013 Syria Kidnappings

Friday, 17 May, 2019 - 12:45 -

Belgium Hands Over Nemmouche to France Over 2013 Syria Kidnappings

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Nemmouche was sentenced to life in prison in March for the anti-Semitic rampage in Brussels | AFP
Paris- Asharq Al-Awsat
Belgian authorities have transferred Mehdi Nemmouche, the French militant who killed four people at a Jewish museum in 2014, to Paris for questioning over his suspected role in the kidnapping of four journalists in Syria in 2013, a legal source said Friday.

Nemmouche, 34, was sentenced to life in prison in March for the anti-Semitic rampage in Brussels, when he gunned down two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer, and a young Belgian employee.

The museum attack came after his return from Syria's battlefields, where Nemmouche is accused of acting as the jailer of four French journalists taken hostage by militants in the northern city of Aleppo in 2013.

During his Brussels trial, two of the journalists testified they had no doubt Nemmouche was one of their captors.

He was brought to France on Wednesday and is being held at the Meaux-Chauconin prison east of Paris, the legal source said, confirming a report in French magazine L'Express.

Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer, his accomplice in the museum attack, were already expected to serve their sentences in France.

Even before the Brussels trial a French judge had summoned Nemmouche to France for questioning about the kidnapping, but he had refused to speak.

The journalists were held by ISIS in Aleppo for 13 months until their release in April 2014, when they were found blindfolded and with their hands bound in the no-man's land on the border between Syria and Turkey.

Nicolas Henin, one of the kidnapped journalists, described Nemmouche in a magazine article later that year as "a self-centered fantasist for whom extremism was finally an excuse to satisfy his morbid thirst for notoriety. A young man lost and perverse."

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