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Sofie Demeyer

Don't shoot the terror suspects' lawyers, they are just doing their job too!

On social media and in a certain press, the lawyers of those accused at the terrorism trial are getting the full brunt of it.

At, we realise all too well that the terror trial is opening wounds for the victims and their relatives. We can understand that people have a hard time with lawyers assisting the accused and their alleged accomplices. When they then invoke procedural arguments on the side, many ignite in anger.

The lawyers were already litigating against the glass accused boxes and against the way their clients are brought to court from Haren prison. In both cases they were vindicated by judges, so these were not empty manoeuvres by the lawyers.

On the contrary.

"The terror suspects' lawyers are doing their job, no more or no less, and that includes defending people, no matter how bad what they have done."
- Sofie Demeyer, spokesperson for
"A lawyer defends people who commit crimes but not the crimes themselves. So you cannot identify those lawyers with what the terror suspects have done."

The role of those lawyers is unsympathetic, they know it and yet they do it, with the legal resources they have. Because it is their mission.

Besides, the victims, more than anyone else, are entitled to a trial that is not later challenged because it was not conducted according to the rules. The lawyers see to that, have a civilised and legally sound debate about it, and an independent judge pronounces. That is how it should be in a properly functioning rule of law.

Possibly such a trial should not have been held before an assize court, possibly different rules should have applied, but that is a political-legal debate separate from this trial.