Death at Charleroi Airport: head of aviation police gets new job

The head of Belgian aviation police, Danny Elst, has been transferred to a new job following an incident at Charleroi Airport in which a man from Slovakia died.  Images of the incident show one officer sitting on the man for several minutes, while a female officer makes the Nazi salute.

Earlier the federal police’s second-in-command, who claims he never saw the pictures, stepped aside. An internal enquiry will now establish whether the head of aviation police was aware of the images of the incident that occurred over two years ago.

Earlier Danny Elst came under fire when cases of malpractice surfaced at the repatriation service that he then headed. Officers accompanying repatriations visited sex workers and partied hard.

The lawyer of the three officers involved in the incident at Charleroi Airport claims they have nothing to reproach themselves and that they were not responsible for the Slovak’s death. The Slovak was taken off a flight when he acted in a bizarre and aggressive fashion.  In a cell he repeatedly banged his head against the wall.  A sedative was administered but the man died of heart failure.

Charleroi prosecutors have been investigating the incident for 2.5 years now.  Belgium’s High Council of Justice is now seeking more information on this case.

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