Far right lawmaker looking at racism trial

Prosecutors have asked parliament to lift of the parliamentary immunity of federal lawmaker Dries Van Langenhove so that he can face charges in connection with violations of anti-racism and weapons legislation.

Mr Van Langenhove and several members of the far right Schild & Vrienden organisation that he founded have been under investigation for two years now after possibly racist comments were made in a closed chat group.

East Flemish prosecutors also want several other members of this organisation to face charges on Holocaust denial legislation too. A judge will now decide whether prosecutions go ahead.

Mr Van Langenhove was elected on the slate of the far right Vlaams Belang party and was sworn in soon after he was identified as a suspect.

The investigation was triggered by a VRT Pano report that showed how images that were possibly racist, anti-Semitic and sexist were shared in a closed chat group. 

Mr Van Langenhove was officially named as a suspect in June following raids in which his computer was seized.  The lawmaker was freed on conditions.  He denies all accusations.

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