The federal prosecutor’s office has decided not to appeal the decision of the Antwerp council chamber to grant a conditional release to the 39-year-old Franco-Tunisian, Mohamed R. The man was arrested in March after speeding on the Meir in Antwerp. The release, pronounced on Monday, will be effective if the suspect pays a bail of 5,000 euros.
On the morning of 23 March, soldiers had spotted a suspicious vehicle traveling at high speed around the Meir’s shopping road. At different times, pedestrians were put at risk. The driver then fled when the military attempted to intercept him at a crossroads.
The Antwerp police rapid response team was finally able to locate the vehicle in a parking lot and apprehend the driver. Various close-range weapons and riot guns were found in the trunk of the vehicle.
Mohamed R., who was domiciled in France, was placed under arrest warrant the following day for attempted terrorist murder, attempted terrorist assault and violations of arms legislation. He denied that he had intended to knock down pedestrians and indicated that he was visiting his girlfriend. As for the weapons found in the trunk, he said he wanted to sell them.
The investigation could not demonstrate the terrorist nature of these acts and Mohamed R. is therefore prosecuted for the possession of prohibited weapons.
On Monday, the council’s chamber did not oppose a release, provided the suspect remained at the disposal of the investigation and did not visit Belgium. He must pay a bail of 5,000 euros. His lawyer did not say whether he had the means to do so.