Ac­cused killer’s lawyers do quenelle

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY MICHEL GURFUNKIEL PARIS

ME­HDI NEM­MOUCHE, the French ji­hadi who has been ex­tra­dited to Bel­gium to stand trial for the mas­sacre in Brus­sels’ Jewish Mu­seum on May 24, will be de­fended by far-right lawyers.

Anti-racism web­site Re­sis­tances. be last week pub­lished a photo of Bel­gian lawyers Henri Laquay and Se­bastien Cour­toy ap­par­ently per­form­ing the quenelle — the in­verted Nazi sa­lute — along with an­tisemitic French comedian Dieudonné Mbala Mbala in 2012.

In an in­ter­view with Le Soir, a main­stream Bel­gian news­pa­per, Laquay said that there was noth­ing “Nazi” about the quenelle: “It is merely giv­ing the fin­ger to the sys­tem, in a peace­ful and hu­moris­tic way.”

In Na­tional So­cial­ist Ger­many, “the sys­tem” was code for the al­legedly “Jewish” Weimar Repub­lic.

It is in use again in Euro­pean far­right po­lit­i­cal cir­cles to de­scribe Western democ­racy, Nato and the Euro­pean Union.

Laquay’s fa­ther, who had the same first and sur­name and was also a lawyer, was a far-right politi­cian in the 1990s and a le­gal ad­viser to the Bel­gian Na­tional Front.

Laquay Jr him­self ran as a Bel­gian Na­tional Front can­di­date in 1999. He is the founder of Jus et Pa­tria, a in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion of “na­tion­al­ist” lawyers. The far-right, fun­da­men­tal­ist Catholic lawyer Wallerand de Sain­tJust d’Autingues, an ad­viser to JeanMarie Le Pen and a de­fender of Ser­bian war crim­i­nals, is a mem­ber.

Cour­toy has not been di­rectly in­volved in pol­i­tics but has re­peat­edly de­fended far-right politi­cians in Bel­gium, in­clud­ing Lau­rent Louis, who was tried for slan­der­ing sev­eral pub­lic per­son­al­i­ties. A one-time mem­ber of the con­ser­va­tive Peo­ple’s Party, Louis later em­braced an­ti­semitism, be­friended Dieudonné and even joined a Bel­gian Is­lamist party.

Both Laquay and Cour­toy have de­fended Is­lamist or­gan­i­sa­tions and far-right mil­i­tants in­volved in abus­ing Jews or Is­raeli or­gan­i­sa­tions.

PHOTO: SCREEN SHOT FROM RTL.TVI

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Out­side Brus­sels’ Jewish mu­seum af­ter the at­tack and (below, from left) Cour­toy, Laquay and Dieudonné

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