The suspected perpetrator of the May 2014 shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium that left four people dead made a court appearance in Brussels on Thursday ahead of the scheduled start of his trial next month.
Mehdi Nemmouche — a 33-year-old French national of Algerian origin — was arrested at a train station in Marseilles a week after the attack.
On Thursday, Nemmouche’s lawyer, Sebastien Courtoy, said his client would plead innocent.
Before the attack, Nemmouche had spent more than a year in Syria fighting for ISIS.
It is believed Nemmouche was radicalized during a 2007-2012 stint in French prison.
An alleged accomplice in the museum attack, 30-year-old Nacer Bendrer, also appeared in court on Thursday.
The attack was the first of a series in Europe believed to have been carried out by ISIS members who had returned home from Syria.
In the shooting, an Israeli tourist couple — Emanuel and Miriam Riva — and two museum employees — Belgian man Alexandre Strens and French woman Dominique Sabrier — were murdered.
Parts of the attack — which lasted less than a minute and a half — were recorded by security cameras. The assailant was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and a handgun.
The trial is set to commence on Jan. 10.
The Algemeiner (c) 2018 . Barney Breen-Portnoy