On the first day of the coroner’s inquest into the young Belgian’s disappearance the court was told the Belgian Judicial Authorities are able to use a technique known as geo-fencing to check for other mobile phones in a given area.
The Judicial Authorities here carried had out a geo-fencing check in the area where Théo disappeared and found no other mobile phones active there. However, while this information had been passed on to the Australians the finer details of the geo-fencing search, such as whether the geo-fencing is limited to particular types of phones, could not be shared without a legal assistance treaty. This is something that a Coroners Court in Australia does not have the power to initiate.
Théo Hayez went missing in May 2019. He was last seen at a bar in the coastal town of Byron Bay, in New South Wales.
In a reaction to what was said at the coroner’s hearing, the Belgian Federal Judicial Authorities’ spokesman Eric Van Duyse told journalists that “There is no information that can’t be speedily passed on to Australian detectives if an official request is made”. Mr Van Duyse added that “The Federal Judicial Authorities will take proactive steps today to help the Australians resolve what is a possible issue, an issue of which the Judicial Authorities here had previous been unaware”.