Net closes around Joe's fugitive 'killer'
26 April 2006, BRUSSELS — The main suspect in the murder of Joe Van Holsbeeck is also a minor and the Brussels public prosecution office knows his full identity.
26 April 2006
BRUSSELS — The main suspect in the murder of Joe Van Holsbeeck is also a minor and the Brussels public prosecution office knows his full identity.
The 17-year-old youth fled to Poland after allegedly stabbing Van Holsbeeck at Brussels Central and is now being hunted by Polish police.
However, based on the signal from his mobile phone and statements from the co-accused, authorities have a good idea where he might be hiding.
Belgian police are now relying on Polish authorities to detain the suspect, and his arrest appears to be simply a matter of time.
The fact that the suspect is underage will not prevent his extradition to Belgium.
"Poland is a member state of the European Union and according to our information, extradites suspects from the age of 17," Brussels public prosecution spokesman Jos Colpin said.
He said that is also the case even if the juvenile court judge has not yet decided that the youth should be tried as an adult.
The 16-year-old co-suspect arrested in Belgium has been identified by his first name by Belgian media, but Expatica has chosen not to publish his name based on right to privacy guidelines.
The youth confessed on Monday night that he and his companion had been on a robbery spree on the day of the 12 April murder.
After several failed attempts, they then targeted Van Holsbeeck and his mp3 player.
The co-accused spoke to him in French, asking where the Nieuwstraat was. The fugitive suspect then stabbed him five times and both suspects fled the scene.
Arrested on Monday, the co-accused was remanded in custody on Wednesday and a decision will be made after investigations are completed whether he should be tried as an adult. If that occurs, he faces a long prison sentence if found guilty.
Meanwhile, the victim's father Guy Van Holsbeeck, welcomed the arrest of the suspect.
"For us it doesn’t matter that much because we will never get Joe back. But I am happy that he is off the street. It is now safer for other people. And I hope he gets a long sentence, even though he is a minor," he said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news