The victim, Stijn Saelens, vanished in his castle in Wingene (near Bruges) in January. Later, his body was found in the woodlands in Sint-Maria-Aalter, not far from his home.
Due to the tensions in the family, especially between Stijn Saelens (small photo) and his family-in-law, and blood traces left behind in the main hall of the castle, the whole case turned into a murder case.
Three people had been detained as official suspects until this week: Stijn Saelens' father-in-law and brother-in-law and a third man on whose premises the body of the victim was found (someone who had good contacts with the father-in-law). Over the past weeks, nothing much was heard of the investigation, but it now seems that the judicial authorities have made some progress.
The Dutchman could have acted as a go-between. He has good contacts in the world of drugs and was recently convicted in a drugs case. Detectives suspect that he could have contacted a contract killer at the request of the family-in-law.
He was detained on the basis telephone data. However, the man's lawyer says that his client strongly denies any involvement in the murder case, and says that he has a perfect explanation for the telephone calls.