Suspected police killer nearly released
23-year-old Kitty Van Nieuwenhuysen was shot dead just over a year ago.
One of the men remanded in custody in connection with the murder of policewoman Kitty Van Nieuwenhuysen was almost released from prison on Saturday. It took the personal intervention of the Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen (Flemish Christian Democrat) to keep the man behind bars.
23-year-old Kitty Van Nieuwenhuysen was shot dead just over a year ago while on duty in the Flemish Brabant village of Lot.
Three suspects were detained in connection with the murder and a home-jacking that preceded it.
One of the suspects had lodged an appeal against his detention.
A mistake by staff at Vorst Prison (Greater Brussels) meant that he wasn’t in time for the court hearing about his appeal.
Legally, any such hearing should take place within fifteen days of an appeal being lodged.
As the man had not had his appeal heard within the fifteen-day time limit, he should have been released.
However, the Justice Minister Jo Vandeurzen acted to ensure that he remained in custody.
The murder suspect was officially released from prison, but immediately re-arrested in connection with another case.
An examining magistrate from Charleroi (Hainaut) will decide whether or not the man will remain in custody.
Meanwhile, counsel for the man claims that he is being held illegitimately and a lawsuit has been issued against the Justice Minister.