Belgium bans kneeling strip searches of defendants in 2016 terror attack

BRUSSELS: A top Belgian court on Monday banned authorities from making defendants kneel during the trial in the 2016 Brussels terror attacks for strip searches.
Six suspects had filed a complaint after refusing to attend hearings into the suicide bombings that killed 32 people in protest against the anal searches carried out by the police.
The Brussels Court of Appeal upheld a preliminary ruling in December ruling there was no legal basis for requiring subjects to ‘kneel down’ during searches as they were transferred from prison to court .
The judgment, seen by AFP, ordered the Belgian state “to put an end to this practice”.
Nine defendants are currently on trial for the March 22, 2016 bomb attacks claimed by the Islamic State group that hit Brussels airport and the city’s metro.
A 10th suspect was reportedly killed in Syria.
Belgium’s largest ever criminal trial is taking place under tight security in a purpose-built space in the disused former headquarters of the NATO alliance.
The main suspect is Salah Abdeslamwho is already notorious after being convicted in a separate trial in France for his role in the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
Survivors of the attacks and relatives of those killed began testifying last week.
The trial is expected to last until June.


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