Thu, 06/26/2014 - 7:29am
(JTA) — A French court ordered the extradition of Mehdi Nemmouche, the Frenchman suspected of killing four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels.
On Thursday, the court in Versailles approved Nemmouche’s extradition to Belgium to face murder charges, according to reports.
Nemmouche has been in police custody on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and possession of weapons since his arrest on May 30 in the southern French city of Marseille.
Nemmouche had refused extradition, then changed his mind on condition that he not be ordered sent to a third country, namely Israel, for trial. Two of the people murdered in the attack were Israeli.
French police said June 1 that they believed Nemmouche committed the May 24 murders at the Jewish Museum of Belgium and then traveled to Marseille on a bus. He was arrested at a routine customs inspection of the passengers on the bus, which left from Amsterdam via Brussels to France.
Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said earlier this month that a video found after Nemmouche’s arrest contains his voice claiming responsibility for the attack and murders. Nemmouche had tried to film the attack, according to Van Leeuw, but the camera failed.
Nemmouche, who lived in the French city of Roubaix on the border with Belgium, had spent several years in a French jail for armed robbery. French authorities believe he left for Syria via Belgium to fight with jihadists in 2012 before returning to Europe.