A former Flemish parliamentarian was allowed to walk from court on Tuesday despite being convicted of murder on the same day, after his lawyer announced they were filing an appeal.
A Brussels correctional court convicted former MP and mayor Christian Van Eyken to 23 years in prison after declaring him guilty of the murder of his partner’s ex-husband.
His spouse, Sylvia Boigelot was found guilty as well and was handed the same sentence, with the prosecution demanding the pair’s immediate arrest after the verdict.
Van Eyken’s lawyer Laurent Kennes announced they would file an appeal and argued for his client’s release following the verdict, saying it was “impossible” that his client would attempt to flee justice given his financial situation, Le Soir reports.
“He continues to claim he is innocent and we still have a lot of arguments to develop in front of the court of appeals,” Kennes told the outlet.
Boigelot and Van Eyken had been subject to criminal proceedings for the murder of Boigelot’s former husband Marc Dellea, who was found with a bullet in his head in a Laeken apartment on 8 July 2014.
Both Boigelot and Van Eyken were allowed to walk away after their conviction, RTBF reports. The former MP is set to remain free for at least some months as his defence prepares the appeal.