Court extends Antwerp suspect's remand
15 May 2006, BRUSSELS — Antwerp Court extended on Tuesday the remand detention of the man arrested for the double murder in the historic city centre last week.
15 May 2006
BRUSSELS — Antwerp Court extended on Tuesday the remand detention of the man arrested for the double murder in the historic city centre last week.
As expected, the hearing in chambers did not take very long before a decision was made to extend the remand detention of the 18-year-old suspect by a month.
Hans Van Themsche, of Wilrijk, did not attend the hearing because he is still recovering from the bullet wound he received to the stomach last Thursday.
He was transferred late Tuesday morning from the Stuivenberg Hospital in Antwerp to the Brugge jail, the only Belgian prison with an infirmary.
In coming days, Van Themsche will be interrogated again and the investigating judge will appoint several psychiatrists to assess his mental health.
The next court hearing will occur next month, when the suspect's remand detention could be extended by three months.
Meanwhile, the families of two of the victims have appointed a lawyer to represent them and have initiated a civil law procedure.
Vic Van Aelst will represent the family of the Turkish woman who was injured in the shooting.
Warning against a hasty trial, Van Aelst said society has the right to a swift trial, but stressed further that legal proceedings still take time.
The lawyers Kris Luyckx and Andy Matthijs will represent the family of the murdered Malian au-pair. It is not yet known if the family of the deceased Flemish toddler has appointed a lawyer.
The lawyer representing the suspect, Bart Herman, has repeated that Van Themsche did not visit extremist websites and was not involved in such movements.
Herman said his client liked to play computer games, but whether that was a determining factor in the shootings must still be investigated.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news