One of Belgium’s “most wanted” criminals deported from the country
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    One of Belgium’s “most wanted” criminals deported from the country

    The Asylum and Immigration Office confirmed to the Belga press agency, on Monday evening, that it had deported the criminal Safet Rustemi in June 2017. The statement is in line with the announcement in the publication La Dernière Heure. The man, an Albananian aged 33, has just been added over the last week to “Belgium’s most wanted” list of criminals, having been convicted in Belgium. It was the Belgian state, through the Asylum and Immigration Office, which escorted him out of Belgium a little over a year ago. However the Asylum and Immigration Office stated that at the time he had been released, and that he had no right of residence in Belgium.

    Dominique Ernould, the spokeswoman for the Asylum and Immigration Office, said, “From information we hold in his file, Safet Rustemi was convicted for the first time in 2015, then for the second time in 2017. Each time he was released upon payment of a €25,000 bail sum. However, he had no right of residence in Belgium.”

    She further stated, “In 2015, Safet Rustemi received an initial order to leave the country, but he never left. A second order then followed…In June 2017, he was therefore removed from Belgium, under police escort, with a prohibition against his return to the country for a period of three years. We are only concerned with administrative sanctions relating to [Rustemi’s] unlawful residence.”

    Safet Rustemi, as alluded to above is an Albanian aged 33, and has been declared as wanted by Belgian authorities. Their concern arises from his having been handed a nine-year prison sentence by the Brussels Court of Appeal. He had appeared at all relevant hearings and had never been subject to immediate arrest after sentencing.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times