PM promises “independent and thorough” enquiry into toddler’s death

The Federal Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has promised that the investigation by the police and the judicial authorities into a police chase that ended in the death of a 2-year-old girl will be “thorough and independent”. Speaking in an interview with the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF, Mr Michel said that “An independent investigation must shed light on the true nature of what happened. We live in a democracy and this is what must happen”.

The girl died at the end of a police chase that finished in Maizières, near Mons (Hainaut). She was in a van full of illegal immigrants. She was killed by a stray police bullet. Both the Judicial Authorities and the Police Complaints Committee (Committee P) have launched an investigation into the incident. It is not clear as to when their reports will be published.

Mr Michel told RTBF that the investigation will “carried out independently and will go to every length to shed light on what happened. Because this is important for the democracy that our country is. To lose your child in such circumstances is a tragedy, a drama. This is why my thoughts go out to the child’s family. They must feel torn by this. Also in my thoughts especially are the police officers that were involved”.

The Prime Minister added that if the members of the government met with the family of the girl that it would be done discretely and well away from the cameras.

“Don’t try and use this for political ends”

Mr Michel also called on political parties not to use the incident for political ends.

The Francophone greens have called the resignation of the Interior Minister Jan Jambon and the Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken (both Flemish nationalist).

Mr Michel says that this is an example of “left-wing populism”.