Inquiry opens into convict’s escape
17 August 2004
BRUSSELS – An inquiry has been opened to establish how one of Belgium’s most dangerous criminals managed to escape from Nivelles prison.
Nordine Ben Allal was recaptured on Sunday evening and has now been charged with attempted murder and possession of explosives.
The inquiry will focus on the help provided to Ben Allal from inside and outside the prison to assist his jail break-out on Sunday 8 August.
“We need to know how he managed to get the cutting pliers that helped his escape,” said the Nivelles public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Elslander.
Elslander has put pressure on the prison authorities not to send Ben Allal back to Nivelles prison that has allowed him to escape three times in the past four years.
Ben Allal is currently serving 27 years in prison for a series of violent crimes including armed robbery and car-jacking.
He has now been landed with additional charges after shooting and injuring two police officers who tried to apprehend him last Friday morning.
The Belgian police conducted a far-reaching search for the convict while he was on the run, putting his family and known friends under close surveillance.
The investigation led police to an apartment block in the petit Chateau district of Brussels, where they conducted a stake-out from Saturday evening.
Suspicions were raised when a nervous-looking man drove a Ford Mondeo into the parking garage. Some minutes later, the car re-emerged and officers noticed movement from someone hiding in the back.
The car was stopped in the Rogier tunnel and both men gave themselves up to police without any resistance. Ben Allal had been travelling hidden in the back seat.
According to initial prosecutor reports, his accomplice had been threatened and was more likely to be a victim than a criminal.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news