Assailants get a simple reprimand
The two Ukrainian brothers who stabbed Simon Wijffels almost two years ago were found guilty in absentia of attempted murder.
The boys were reprimanded but given no prison sentence. After the incident the boys were placed in a juvenile detention centre: the older brother for 15 months and the younger brother for nine months.
Simon Wijffels was stabbed by the two Ukrainian boys near his school in the centre of Ghent in September 2007. It was the second day of school.
Simon Wijffels was 14 years old at the time. He was seriously injured in the attack and was in critical condition. The two Ukrainian brothers, schoolmates of the victim, stabbed him because he refused to give them the telephone number of a girl at school.
The trial against the two brothers started on 26 May. The perpetrators were not present. The two boys were deported last year after an attempt to get asylum in Belgium. Now 18 and 16 years old, they now live in Israel. They were found guilty in absentia.
According to the court the admonishment was sufficient because the two boys kept to earlier conditions set them and because they now live elsewhere.
A decision to put them in a closed juvenile detention centre could not have been reinforced. Because the eldest brother is now of age he could not be put in a juvenile detention centre anyway.
Simon Wijffels, who was not present during the court ruling, and his family have been awarded €30,000 in compensation. A doctor has also been appointed to follow up on further consequences of the incident. The boy is still in treatment to come to terms with the stabbing incident.