Kaplan injured, but eludes police capture
17 July 2006, BRUSSELS — Top gangster Kaplan Murat escaped from police again on Monday after initially taking cover in a Brico store in Wavre, but is believed to have been injured in gunfire shortly after 3pm.
17 July 2006
BRUSSELS — Top gangster Kaplan Murat escaped from police again on Monday after initially taking cover in a Brico store in Wavre, but is believed to have been injured in gunfire shortly after 3pm.
The gangster was meant to return to prison after being granted penitentiary leave, but choose instead to flee.
After Murat's wife had reported to police, his sister also contacted authorities and tried to contact her brother via his mobile phone on Monday. She could not contact him, however.
Murat was sighted in Wallonian Brabant at about 9.30am on Monday and police mounted a large scale pursuit in Wavre, also along the E411 motorway.
Officers opened fire and Murat is believed to have suffered a gunshot wound or injuries from glass fragments from his front windscreen.
His car was then found at the Brico in Wavre. Police teams from every police zone in Wallonian Brabant were dispatched to Wavre, where a security permiter was still noticeable late on Monday afternoon.
The police operation was scaled back at about 6pm.
Murat was sentenced by various courts to a total of 18 years jail. His latest escape was his sixth, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.
On 5 May 1993, Murat escaped together with Philippe Lacroix and Basri Bajrami, two henchmen of Patrick Hamers, from the Sint-Gillis jail.
It was the most spectacular escape in Belgian history. The three gangsters held hostage three guards and the then director of the penitentiary system, Harry Van Oers.
One of the guards was placed on the windscreen of the BMW to give them cover as Murat drove the vehicle, just as he'd done in previous armed robberies. He was arrested 11 days later.
He was parolled in 2003, but in April 2005 police caught Murat stealing wooden planks from a timber yard in Londerzeel. A police officer opened fire and shot Murat, permanently disfiguring his face.
The parole commission then revoked his conditional release. The decision meant Murat was forced to serve the remaining 1,800 days (almost five years) of his 18-year-old jail term. Moreover, he is awaiting conviction for the incident in Londerzeel.
Meanwhile, opposition Christian Democrat CD&V MP Tony Van Parys said it was an unimaginable and irresponsible decision by Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx to allow the granting of temporary penitentiary leave on Murat.
The CD&V is not demanding the resignation of Onkelinx, but has requested a thorough investigation into recent controversies, such as the escape of Turkish militant Fehriye Erdal, the release of child sex offender Abdallah Ait Oud and now Murat.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news