The Belgian Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, presented his resignation this Friday at a press conference organized in the presence of the Attorney General of Brussels, Johan Delmulle. His departure comes after information published this morning, which indicated that on August 15 of last year, Tunisia requested the extradition of Abdesalem Lassoued, the jihadist terrorist who last Monday killed two Swedish citizens and injured a third after declaring his loyalty to the Islamic State. But that a magistrate, the one responsible, He did not process the request, which ended in a tragedy for which he now assumes political responsibilities.
In a few days it became known that Lassoued arrived in Europe, via Lampedusa, in 2011, and that he had been in the EU irregularly since then. First in Italy, then in Sweden, where he spent two years in prison, and finally in Belgium. They knew here since 2016, for reports from other countries’ intelligence services, that he was dangerous and had become radicalized, threatening to kill another person in a shelter. He was on the radar and set off alarm bells, but Belgium didn’t do much to locate him. Not even when the man presented the papers in one of the communes of Brussels to register.
“It is an individual, monumental and unacceptable error,” the minister said, assuming with his resignation the political responsibilities of the Ministry and the Government. Van Quickenborne had been on the tightrope for months and had exhausted his political capital. He miraculously saved the position after a major political scandal occurred, especially in Flanders, known as the “pipigate”, when images were leaked of several guests at his 50th birthday party urinating while laughing in the patrol car parked next to his living place.
The security forces, who have experienced several incidents with Flemish politicians in recent months, They complained about the lack of respect. The Police were there to escort the politician after he received death threats last year that were considered very credible, from international trafficking gangs, those who control the ports through which the bulk of central Europe’s cocaine enters. .
“From the beginning, my team and I gathered all the details of this case to clarify any errors that may have been made (…) This morning at 9 a.m. I was able to verify the following elements: August 15, 2022 There was an extradition request from Tunisia for this man. This request was transmitted on September 1, as it should have been, by the legal expert to the Brussels prosecutor’s office. The competent magistrate did not respond to this extradition request and the file was not processed . This is an individual error. A monumental mistake. An unacceptable mistake. An error with dramatic consequences,” the minister said in statements reported by the newspaper Le Soir.