2016 Brussels terrorist attacks: plaintiffs to consult magistrates’ dossier

Examining magistrates have granted plaintiffs permission to consult the completed dossier on the 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

“The examining magistrates have instructed the Accueil des Victimes service (“Victims’ Reception service”, a victim support group) to inform the plaintiffs about the possibility of consulting the dossier relating to the Brussels attacks of March 22, 2016,” the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement this week.

(Photo – AP)

The procedure under which such a consultation will take place has been carefully planned, owing to the very large number of plaintiffs involved: 209 in the case of the Maelbeek metro bombings, and 391 in the case of the attacks at Zaventem airport.

It will run as follows. First, a request for consultation must be addressed to the examining magistrates through the Accueil des Victimes service. Second, plaintiffs must then complete and return an official authorisation request form within fifteen days. Finally, authorisation of access to the dossier will be issued by the examining magistrates, and will be valid for a period of ten working days, and extendable only upon request.

“This way of proceeding was agreed upon in view of the very large number of plaintiffs and the need to organize a program which allows each of them to consult the dossier under good conditions (with staff present to help, with a sufficient number of computers present, with psychological assistance readily available, etc.),” explained the Federal Prosecutor’s office.

The full dossier of the attacks fills about 140 boxes and comprises more than 6,200 written statements. Its central part, which consists of approximately 1,200 pages, will be available in nine languages and is currently being translated.