Laurie Dieffembacq

1-year suspended sentence for policeman who fatally shot Mawda

The police officer, who fatally shot 2-year-old Mawda Shawri, the daughter of migrants transiting Belgium, has been sentenced to a one-year suspended jail sentence. The van driver of the vehicle transporting the migrants received a 4-year-sentence, while a man suspected of people-trafficking was found not guilty.

In 2018 the police officer fired at a van transporting migrants transiting the country after it failed to stop.  A bullet fatally injured the 2-year-old.  The officer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The judge in Mons (Hainault) would not exclude the possibility the officer fired by accident, but ruled that the officer did not have the right to shoot at the van as other ways of stopping the vehicle were available. The officer was also sentenced to pay a 3,200 euro fine.

The Iraqi van driver of the vehicle carrying some thirty migrants on their way to the UK got 4 years instead of the ten the prosecutor sought. The court ruled that the driver attempted to disrupt motorway traffic as well as ramming a police vehicle.  He is directly responsible for the child’s death. He has an earlier conviction for membership of a gang of people-traffickers.

A second Iraqi that prosecutors believed was a people-trafficker was found not guilty.  Prosecutors had sought a seven-year jail term. The not guilty verdict is the result of the fact that only one witness claimed that the suspect directed the driver to speed and encouraged dangerous driving.

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