“This is another blow to my clients. The reason why he is not cooperating is not clear, but the final conclusion is that he is not participating”, said John Maes, lawyer to the Van Espen family.
The suspect said that he is willing to cooperate, but today he did not feel able to do so. He has since been returned to his cell.
Given that police cannot force a suspect to cooperate, the reconstruction was consequently cancelled, confirmed Antwerp’s Mayor, Gabriel Theunisbrug.
Originally, the reconstruction of the murder was designed to give investigators more insight into what exactly happened to Van Espen. The police had blocked off the area where the murder took place — Vaartdijkon the Albert Canal — and shielded it from traffic to ensure total discretion. Bakelmans was then due to explain his actions to the investigative team.