In the trial of the foiled bomb attack on a mass rally by exiled Iranians in France, the verdict of a Belgian court is expected on Thursday. The four defendants, including an Iranian ex-diplomat accredited in Vienna, are accused by the public prosecutor of planning and preparing the attack on the event with thousands of participants. The public prosecutor’s office has demanded prison sentences of up to 20 years.
According to investigators, the attack could have left numerous dead and injured.
The trial is explosive because among the defendants is an Iranian who was arrested in Germany in 2018 and who was accredited as a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Vienna at the time of the crime. According to the investigators, 49-year-old Assadollah A. is said to be an employee of the Iranian secret service MOIS, whose tasks include monitoring and combating opposition groups inside and outside Iran.
It is therefore considered possible that the attack plans were based on a direct government mandate. The rally on June 30, 2018 in Villepinte near Paris was organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The other defendants in Antwerp include a married couple living in Belgium who should have carried out the attack according to the investigation. Assadollah A. is said to have given him an explosive device with a total of 500 grams of the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) in Luxembourg City at the end of June 2018. Belgian special forces stopped and arrested the couple with the explosives in the car on the way to France.