Belgian pilot released

9th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2007, BRUSSELS - The Belgian pilot who was detained by the authorities in Chad has been released. Jacques Wilmart was being held with a number of French and Spanish nationals on charges relating to complicity in the abduction of children.

9 November 2007

BRUSSELS - The Belgian pilot who was detained by the authorities in Chad has been released. Jacques Wilmart was being held with a number of French and Spanish nationals on charges relating to complicity in the abduction of children.

The Belgian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Mr Wilmart had been released in a statement on Friday.  Mr Wilmart was admitted to a hospital on the French military base in the Chadian capital N'Djamena on Thursday suffering from exhaustion, stress and lack of food.

He was detained along with other members of the French adoption agency 'L'arc de Zoé" in an area of Eastern Chad near to the Sudanese border.

There were over 100 children in his plane, all of whom were to have been taken to N'Djamena before being flown to France. The organisation claimed that the children were all orphans from the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur.

However, it was revealed that most of the children were not orphans and that they in fact came from Eastern Chad.

Three Spaniards have also been released. 74-year-old Mr Wilmart will be brought back to Belgium aboard a Belgian Defence Ministry plane. He is expected back some time on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has managed to identify all but 4 of the 103 children.
However, it will take several weeks before all of the 21 girls and 82 boys can be returned home.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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