Investigation into Jürgen Conings completed, criminal proceedings unlikely

Investigation into Jürgen Conings completed, criminal proceedings unlikely

The investigation into Jürgen Conings, the extreme right-wing soldier who made threats against public figures last year before taking a stockpile of weapons and vanishing, has been completed.

The investigating judge will communicate the results of the investigation to the Federal Public Prosecutor in the coming days, who will then have to make his final decision regarding prosecution, De Standaard reports.

In all likelihood, the federal public prosecutor will demand the forfeiture of the criminal proceedings.

If the judge agrees and declares a forfeiture, there will be no judgement of guilt or innocence, as Conings is dead. Moreover, there has never been another person involved in the case.

Conspiracy theories still swirling nearly a year later

On 17 May last year, a large-scale search was launched for the 46-year-old Jürgen Conings after he made threats against several people, including virologist Marc Van Ranst, and then vanished while heavily armed.

Conings had left behind disturbing farewell letters and taken heavy weapons from the barracks in Leopoldsburg. He was eventually found dead in a dense, difficult to reach section of forest from an apparent suicide.

During the disappearance of Conings, and especially after he was found dead, all kinds of suspicions and conspiracy theories were shared via social media.

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The radical ideas and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance and death of Jürgen Conings that circulated on social media have been boosted by Russian internet trolls, according to Admiral Michel Hofman, the top man of the Belgian army.

His services have found evidence of Russian interference “with the aim of destabilising our Western society and radicalising people here.”

Hofman now wants the army to set up a fully-fledged cyber component more quickly in order to counter such attacks by internet trolls.

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