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    Hicham Diop receives 15-year prison sentence

    © Belga
    Hicham Diop had been a professional kick-boxer in the past and also served in the military.
    © Belga

    On Friday, the Brussels Court of Appeal sentenced Hicham Diop to 15 years in prison, for having attempted to kill two policemen in Schaerbeek in October 2016. However, the court did not accept terrorism as being aggravating circumstances here. In the court of first instance, the judge believed that the injuries sustained were premeditated assault and battery, without accepting that there was terrorism involved. The judge had sentenced Diop to nine years in prison.

    The 12th Chamber of the Brussels Court of Appeal amended the first instance judgment against Hicham Diop. As had the first judge, the court held that it had not been proved that Hicham Diop had a terrorist intention when he attacked the police.

    That having been said, the court believed that the defendant had the intention to commit premeditated murder, whilst the first judge had asserted that the perpetrator of the crime had committed premeditated injury without having the intention to murder.

    Taking account of the fact that the prevention of the attempted murder was already accepted, the court increased the man’s sentence. Hicham Diop has received a 15-year prison sentence, as compared to the nine-year prison sentence passed by the court of first instance.

    Hicham Diop had attacked two policemen in Schaerbeek on October 5th, 2016, stabbing them with a knife. The police officers had been admitted to hospital but had been able to leave the same evening.

    Lawyers for Hicham Diop say the incident was not terrorist-related. He was linked to incidents dating back to 2011, when he was knocked down by a federal police vehicle, but also to the tragic death of his daughter, as well as a drug overdose.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times