Laurie Dieffembacq

Police officer faces manslaughter charges after migrant shooting

A police officer, who fired a fatal shot during a pursuit of migrants crossing the country in a bid to get to England will have to stand trial. The officer fired at a minivan transporting 30 migrants as well as a driver and people-trafficker.

The incident happened in 2018.  Police pursued the van for 60 kilometres trying to get it to stop.  As a last resort shots were fired.  One shot hit the cheek of a 2-year-old toddler, who later died in hospital.

A judge in Mons has now decided that the police officer, who fired the short, will have to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.  The child’s parents, a Kurdish couple from Iraq, had pressed for more serious charges including murder, but the judge didn’t go there.

The man suspected of driving the van and a suspected people-trafficker will face charges relating to wilful traffic obstruction leading to the death of a child.

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