Referee Bart Vertenten released from prison

In the corruption and matchfixing probe in Belgian football, referee Bart Vertenten has been released on conditions. This was decided by an Antwerp appeal body. Bart Vertenten cannot have contact with other suspects or with the media, and he can't travel abroad.

Bart Vertenten had been arrested a couple of weeks ago and was one of the few suspects (there were a couple dozen in total) who were still in prison.

It is suspected he was bribed to manipulate matches, to allow KV Mechelen to stay in the top flight last season - despite this, KV Mechelen were relegated anyway, editor's note. The magistrate ruled that Vertenten's custody is no longer necessary, but he remains a suspect. Mr Vertenten was one of Belgium's top referees when the scandal broke out. 

Earlier this week, one of the main investigators in the case, Joris Raskin, had been removed from the investigation at the request of Hans Rieder, the lawyer of Bart Vertenten, with the argument of possible partiality. However, the court has now rejected those claims. 

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