The lorry driver accused of being at the wheel of a truck which killed a Yellow Vest demonstrator last week on the E25 motorway at Visé near Liege has been arrested by Dutch police near Tilburg, the Liege prosecutor’s office said. The man, a Dutch national aged 56, is accused of leaving the scene of the accident on Friday evening in which the protester died. The exact circumstances of the accident are being investigated, but initial reports said he tried to circumvent a blockade set up by the Yellow Vests on the Netherlands-bound carriageway of the road, which leads to Maastricht.
The protester, identified only as 56-year-old Roger B., died instantly.
The truck in question was found, also in the Tilburg area 125km from Maastricht, a day later, and the driver identified. It now appears Dutch police had tracked him down at the weekend, but held back from making an arrest until the Belgian authorities issued a European arrest warrant.
The man is now being questioned by Dutch investigators. He will be asked if he is willing to be extradited to Belgium. If he agrees, the Dutch have ten days to deliver him to the Liege prosecutor’s jurisdiction. If he refuses, a Dutch court will rule within 60 days. Given his record, he will likely be considered a flight risk, and kept in custody.
In Belgium, he likely faces a charge of “deliberate assault without the intention of causing death, with the aggravating factor of fleeing the scene of an accident”. However the prosecutor said a final decision would only be taken once the man has been interviewed.