Belgium seeks extradition of "jailbreak king"

31st October 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 October 2007 , BRUSSELS/THE HAGUE (dpa) - Belgium on Wednesday demanded the extradition of the convict known as the "jailbreak king" following his arrest for armed robbery in the Netherlands a day earlier.

31 October 2007

BRUSSELS/THE HAGUE (dpa) - Belgium on Wednesday demanded the extradition of the convict known as the "jailbreak king" following his arrest for armed robbery in the Netherlands a day earlier.

"The request for the extradition (of 27-year-old Nordin Benallal) has already been sent to the Dutch authorities," Jean-Claude Elslander, the public prosecutor of the Belgian district of Nivelles, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The timing of the extradition will depend on whether the Dutch authorities decide to send Benallal back to Belgium immediately, or jail him for the hold-up first, he added. In the former case, the extradition could take from 10 days to two months.

Benallal, who has a history of violent crime, hit the headlines after he broke out of the high-security Ittre jail on Sunday. The spectacular escape, in which his accomplices crashed a hijacked helicopter into the prison yard, was the fourth in his career.

But on Tuesday afternoon he and one accomplice were arrested after carrying out an armed robbery at a motorbike store in the Dutch capital, The Hague.

Benallal is provisionally expected to appear before a Dutch judge on Friday in connection with Tuesday's raid, officials said. The date is as yet unconfirmed, however.

Once he is returned to Belgium, the Belgian authorities will decide on the best way to reduce the risk of further jailbreaks, a spokesman for the Belgian prison service added.

Media sources have suggested that Benallal would be moved from prison to prison to reduce the chances of his escaping. Officials would not comment on the suggestion, saying that it was too early to decide on security measures.

Benallal has achieved notoriety in Belgium for breaking out of jail four times since he was first imprisoned for robbery with violence in 1998.

His first escape was from a prison van, while in his second he walked out of jail disguised in a wig and sunglasses.

In 2004 he scaled a prison wall with a rope ladder. Days later policemen spotted him and tried to stop him. Benallal shot them both, leaving them critically injured.

The Ittre prison is one of Belgium's highest-security jails. Its most notorious inmate is paedophile murderer Marc Dutroux.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Belgian news, Dutch news

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