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Belgium to Try Iranian Diplomat, 3 Others in Bomb Case

Belgium to Try Iranian Diplomat, 3 Others in Bomb Case

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 - 08:15
Belgian police special forces patrol after an area of the Forest commune that had been closed by them in Brussels, Belgium February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Asharq Al-Awsat

A Belgian court has ordered that four suspects including an Iranian diplomat will face trial later this year accused of taking part in a plot to bomb an opposition rally two years ago.


The four are charged with "attempted murder of a terrorist nature" and of "taking part in the actions of a terrorist organization", a spokesman for federal prosecutors, Eric Van Der Sypt, told AFP.


In July 2018, Belgian anti-terror prosecutors announced they had foiled an attempt to bomb a June 30 meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled opposition movement, outside Paris.


On June 30, the day of the meeting, a Belgian couple of Iranian descent were arrested driving in the Brussels region with half a kilo of the unstable explosive TATP and a detonator.


Investigators identified two more suspects, including Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat posted in Vienna who was arrested in Germany and transferred to Belgian custody in October 2018.


Opposition spokesmen have accused him of ordering the planned attack, and France has accused Iranian intelligence of being behind the plot.


The trial will take place in the port city of Antwerp.


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