Belgium judge murder suspect sought revenge: official
A suspect arrested for killing a magistrate and her clerk in a Brussels courtroom has confessed, saying he took revenge after the judge evicted him three years ago, an official said Friday.
“According to his own statement, he was present in the tribunal, he took out a weapon and he fired on the judge and her clerk,” on Thursday, said Jean-Jacques Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor’s office.
“He explained that he was motivated by vengeance against the judiciary in general and this justice of the peace in particular,” who “decided in 2007 to evict him from he apartment he rented,” the spokesman added.
The 47-year-old man, who was known to police for acts of violence in the 1990s, has been of no fixed abode since being evicted.
The prosecutor’s office did not give his identity, although a judiciary source said he is Iranian.
The suspect was arrested after police were alerted to shots being fired in a Brussels park hours after the double murder in the court room, the first such killings in Belgium.
When police came to the scene and asked him to put down his weapon he pointed it at them.
One of the three officers at the scene then shot in the air to distract him while a colleague subdued the gunman, hitting him with his truncheon and inflicting injuries without shooting him, the public prosecutor said.
The courtroom killings happened in cold blood in the tribunal which handles family and neighbour disputes.
Belgian Interior Minister Annemie Turtelboom thanked the police for securing “the swift arrest of the alleged culprit of the double murder” which took place 100 metres from the imposing Palace of Justice in central Brussels.
Offering her condolences to the victims’ families, Turtelboom said she hoped that justice could quickly be meted out for “a crime that until Thursday was unknown in Belgian courtrooms.”