Don't shoot the terror suspects' lawyers, they are just doing their jobs too.
Following the terrorism trial, the lawyers of the accused are getting the full brunt on social media and in a certain press.
At Advocaat.be, 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 bargain, many ignite in anger.
The lawyers already litigated 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 lawyers of terror suspects are doing their job, no more or no less, and that means defending people, no matter how bad what they have done," says Sofie Demeyer, spokesperson for Advocaat.be. "Alawyer 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 brief.
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.
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