Hege Storhaug, HRS
Den drepte hadde nettopp besøkt en bar for homofile da han ble plukket opp av fire menn i en bil. Blir de mistenkte dømt, kan dette være det første kjente homodrapet i nyere tid i Belgia.
On Sunday, the body of a 32-year-old man was found in a field in Villers-le-Temple, between the cities of Huy and Liège in Wallonia. Four suspects have been apprehended, and there are strong indications that they had homophobic motives. The case is causing commotion both in Wallonia and in Flanders.
The man had gone missing one week before his body was discovered in Liège province. «The victim left a bar and was approached by four men in a car. He entered the car voluntarily. A couple of hours later, nothing was heard of him and a friend informed the police», Danièle Reynders of the Liège judicial authorities explains.
The four suspects have all been apprehended. Just like the victim, all four are of foreign descent. According to the suspects, the victim «made advances».
«The victim had just left a gay bar. This means that we are not only investigating the murder, but also possible discrimination», Ms Reynders explains. If the suspects are found guilty, it would be the first «official» gay murder in Belgium. However, three of the four suspects have denied homophobic motives.
The gay organisation Arc-en-Ciel claims it is the first deadly victim of homophobic hate crime in Belgium. The Centre for the Battle against Racism will go to court as a third party, as plaintiff claiming damages. The story comes after a number of incidents in Brussels linked to homophobic crime.