Belgium exorcism trial: All guilty of torture

BELGA (07.06.2012) – Jurors in the court of assizes of Belgium found four of the defendants, Xavier Meert, Mourad Mazouj the husband of the victim, Jamila Zian, and Fatima Zekhnini, guilty of aggravating circumstances for having caused the death of the victim.

Latifa Hachmi submitted to sessions of Roquia, a Muslim rite of “unbewitching,” mainly in her home, Waelhem Street, in Schaerbeek, between the end of June and the beginning of August in 2004. Two exorcists, Abdelkrim Aznagui (60) and Xavier Meert (34) conducted the ritual. The victim’s husband, Mourad Mazouj (34) participated as did three female “healers”, Jamila Zian (44), Fatima Zekhnini (41) and Hayate Saif Nasr (30).

All six were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the torture they inflicted on Latifa Hachmi which caused her death on August 5, 2004. The victim was almost drowned in a bath of hot water and was also severely beaten with a rod.

The last two defendants, Abdelkrim Aznagui and Hayate Saïf Nasr, were also found guilty of torture but were acquitted of aggravating circumstances for the death of Latifa Hachmi.

Translation French-English by HRWF Int’l.