Officer who fatally shot 2-year-old Mawda given 1 year suspended prison sentence
Share article:
Share article:

Officer who fatally shot 2-year-old Mawda given 1 year suspended prison sentence

Credit: Belga

The policeman who fired the shot that took the life of the 2-year old Kurdish-Iraqi girl Mawda has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and has been sentenced to one year in prison with a suspended sentence.

This was decided by the correctional court in Mons on Friday.

The case

In 2018, the officer fired the bullet that killed Mawda during a chase of a van carrying over 20 people, including Mawda and her family.

According to the forensic doctor and the ballistics expert, Mawda was in the front of the vehicle at the time of the shooting. The police officer had stated at the hearing that he had not seen the child and that he had not received any information indicating she was in the vehicle.

Accused of manslaughter, the officer had added that he intended to aim at the front left tyre of the van in order to cause a slow puncture, which would have forced the vehicle to come to a halt. When the van collided with the police vehicle, the bullet was deflected.

“There was adrenaline, the fear of having an accident. My client opened the window, pulled out his gun and leaned out of the car. It was dangerous, he was in danger of being hit,” said the officer’s lawyer.

The van swerved and avoided a collision with another police van, according to the lawyer. The officer’s right hand allegedly tensed up, causing the shot to be fired.

“The Advocate General, Ingrid Godart, had agreed that a shot fired by tension or reflex seemed to be compatible with the elements that had been analysed.” In her view, this was involuntary manslaughter in the absence of foresight or precaution.

“There is nothing in this file to prove that the police officer would have wanted to attempt to kill someone else. I cannot show that he had the intention to kill or that he had consciously accepted the risk.”

Related News:

 

Involuntary Manslaughter

The officer in question was ultimately found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

“Officers may use force provided there is proportionality,” the judge said. “It seems that there is no proportionality in this case. A policeman must always be master of his weapon. Nor does the lack of training relieve him of his responsibility. The officer’s fault has therefore been demonstrated.”

The judge, however, also acknowledged that the officer did not mean to cause the girl’s death, adding that the presumption of innocence is applied, “whatever the context and circumstances of the facts, or whatever the attitude of the civil parties, the hostility of the press or the social media.”

The officer who fired the shot was given a suspended sentence of one year in prison – meaning that the sentence will not be enforced unless he commits another crime during that period – and a €400 fine.

Mawda’s parents will receive provisional compensation of €30,000 each from the Belgian state, their other child will receive €3,000.

Driver Found Guilty, Accused Smuggler Goes Free

The court also sentenced the driver, Jargew D., of the van to four years of effective prison time, of which he already served 30 months in pre-trial detention.

The judge ruled that he is the one responsible for Mawda’s death, because he did not stop the van “despite several reminders from the police.” The prosecution had demanded ten years in prison because he had already been convicted of similar offences.

A third defendant, Rasol D. (28), a suspected human smuggler whose involvement was based on the statement of one anonymous witness, was acquitted due to a lack of evidence, despite having been charged with seven years’ imprisonment.

There was no proof that was, in fact, the smuggler, or that he ordered the driver to keep driving, even after the police had ordered the van to stop.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...
Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd. ...
8 arrested in Belgium and Luxembourg for fraud and social dumping
On Tuesday, around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part ...
More than 5,500 people took part in the citizens’ consultation on road safety
Over 5,500 people took part in a citizens’ consultation on road safety for Belgium between July and October, according to Belga News Agency. The ...
Coronavirus: Nearly 1,000 patients hospitalised, 80 admissions a day on average
Between October 10 and 16, an average of 3,151 people were infected with Covid-19 every day, according to figures from the Sciensano Public Health ...
‘More concern and false impressions’: colds are not worse than before, experts say
While it seems like cold viruses are hitting especially hard this autumn, with more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, doctors are saying that this ...
More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...