Belgian knifeman breaks silence as new accusation emerges
Kim De Gelder has refused so far to speak about the attack with authorities but spoke to his lawyer.DENDERMONDE - The suspect in a gruesome knife attack at a Belgian nursery voiced regret about the killing of two babies and a woman, according to his lawyer as a fresh murder accusation emerged.
Although 20-year-old Kim De Gelder has refused so far to speak about the attack with authorities, he broke his silence in a first conversation with his lawyer, the Belga news agency reported the latter as saying.
"He understands that what he did was inhuman. I think that he feels regret. That's what he says, but it would be going too far to say that he repents," the Belga news agency reported lawyer Jaak Haentjes as saying.
"It was a constructive discussion, about his life, but also the incident. The reason why he chose babies in a creche as his victims remains a mystery. I want to know why he did that. He too, he is ready to help in that sense," Haentjes said.
Earlier prosecutor Christian Du Four said that De Gelder, was probably also responsible for the "abominable" stabbing murder of a former farm woman on January 16 in Beveren, near Antwerp.
"There were very concrete elements linking the two incidents," Du Four told journalists, noting that both occurred on Fridays at roughly the same time without elaborating further.
De Gelder was charged on Saturday with killing two babies, aged six and nine months, and a nurse in a macabre knife attack at a creche in Dendermonde, southwest of Antwerp, on Friday.
However, his lawyer said that De Welder had no knowledge of the murder of the elderly woman.
The elderly woman's murder had left authorities puzzled as there was no obvious motive with no signs of theft. She was found stabbed to death in her apartment while her husband was at the neighbours.
According to Flemish television channel VRT, incriminating evidence against De Gelder had been found at the site of the woman's murder.
The nursery killings sent shockwaves through the country and thousands of horrified and grieving Belgians marched Sunday through Dendermonde in a grim procession which police said drew as many as 8,000 people.
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy was among hundreds who gathered outside the creche in tribute to the victims.
Van Rompuy, along with several government ministers, bowed before a monument erected in memory of those killed as victims' parents looked on from the front row.
The prosecutor said De Gelder probably would have committed attacks on other nurseries during his rampage on Friday if police had not arrested him because he had a list with the names of three creches, including the one where the drama occured.
In an attack that shocked the nation, a man barged into the day-care centre with a 30-centimetre (12-inch) long knife and began slashing some of the children lying in beds, none more than three years old.
As well as the three killed, 10 children and two staff were wounded, some seriously.
The nurse was killed as she tried to protect her charges.
Du Four said that although black mascara had been found in De Gelder's backpack, it was not clear whether he was made up at the time of the knife attack as some witnesses have said.
Described in press interviews with former acquaintances as "immature", "shy" and a "loner," De Gelder was also fan of horror movies and video games.
After having little success with studies to be a nurse, he worked in a hypermarket until he quit several months ago.