Also, a group of European and US personalities, lawyers and experts joined the online event hosted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on October 22. They condemned the Mullahs’ regime’s terrorism campaign in the Europe and called on the EU to pursue a firm policy against the Iran’s regime.
Participants condemned the regime’s support for terrorism around the world and called on the EU to end the appeasement policy under the pretext of engagement with the mullahs. It is time to make it clear to the mullahs’ regime that their support for terrorism in Europe soil and across the world will not be tolerated.
Rik Vanreusel, criminal law lawyer
Thank you, Mr. Hashemi, for introducing me. I didn’t really get what you were saying because I believe, to the audience, you were still muted, but I did understand that you asked me to take the floor, which is, of course, in consequence to what Mr. Bourdon already said, a great honor to defend privileges of the Iranian democratic opposition.
We are entering the final phase of the correctional procedure before the Antwerp Correctional Court. As already mentioned, on the 27th of November, the case will be heard by the court and probably also, on the 3rd of December, the case will go on for probably two days. The investigation has taken a long time, more than two years, and exceptional long protective custody for the four defendants, who have, in the beginning, always insisted on being released. I believe their hopes have gone out the window. Together, I also believe with their hopes to remain out of prison after the trial.
We have introduced our first written memoranda. We already received the arguments of the defense, which are of course known to everybody who is involved in the case. And that is the absolute, and to me personally, a bit surprising hiding as a secret agent behind the Vienna Convention. Of course, you cannot call upon immunity for being a diplomat when you are in disguise, when you are a secret agent, when you are trying to bomb for the 5,000 innocent people inside the Villeurbanne exposition hall.
And actually, this is a symbolic attack on the values of our Western civilization, on the values of democratic free speech, on the values of democratic free opposition. We believe and it is our established opinion, I believe, together with the prosecution, that the four defendants will be held accountable for their actions. And as Mr. Bourdon William already said correctly, the fifth party, or maybe the first party on the defendants bench will be indeed the Iranian regime.
This is a grace of criminally sponsored state terrorism, I believe Mr. Sano and Ms. Moniquet will also have a few words to say about this topic. We expect the verdict to be pronounced at the end of November, the beginning of December. And of course, then we will analyze what this result will be. Needless to say, this is a symbolic case, the case that symbols the determination to protect the European and Western values against an authoritarian political regime. We are not only defending the NCRI, but every Iranian opposition present in [inaudible 03:21], and also our civilians in Europe. Of course, we are not here to allow diplomats or secret agents under the cover of diplomacy to act in a terrorist way.
We are proud to be representing the civil parties, amongst them the NCRI, but also 18 dignitaries who were present and whose lives were actually critically endangered at that time. Finally, I think it is also our duty, myself as a Belgian criminal defense lawyer to thank the Belgian authorities who have cooperated with the European national security services and other European countries, and we have established a firm case against the four defendants and against the Iranian regime.
It is through the Western and European cooperation that we were able to foil this attack. And I believe the Belgian authorities played a vital role together with the German, the English, and the French, of course. So, thank you for giving me the floor and I will pass the word back to Mr. Hashemi.