Expat kidnapper 'had commercial dispute'

21st March 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The Australian expat who kidnapped his two-year-old daughter in a Brussels hotel over the weekend also wanted to draw attention to a dispute with a US soft drink maker, it has been reported.

21 March 2006

BRUSSELS — The Australian expat who kidnapped his two-year-old daughter in a Brussels hotel over the weekend also wanted to draw attention to a dispute with a US soft drink maker, it has been reported.

It was initially reported that the 55-year-old Australian of Georgian ancestry was demanding medical treatment for his daughter's heart condition.

However, it has since been alleged the man became embroiled in a dispute with a soft drink producer some time ago after he tried to import various products to Europe. The man claims he was delivered faulty products.
 
The dispute made headlines on US television as the man — who has lived in Belgium for six years — demanded compensation of tens of millions of euros, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.

The man is then alleged to have used the hostage drama over the weekend for a "good purpose" and again raise publicity to his dispute. However, the media attention was focused more on his daughter's medical condition.

It is possible that the charges laid against the man will now be widened to include the second demand involved in the hostage drama.

However, that depends on whether the man is ordered to undergo medical treatment. The judiciary is expected to hand down its ruling on this matter later on Tuesday.

The hostage drama took place in the Tulip Inn on the Rogiers Square in the Brussels city centre. The man had threatened to blow the hotel up, but no explosives were found.

The 20-hour long kidnapping ended peacefully when the man surrendered to police on Sunday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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