Politician suspected of taking money in exchange for visas released with ankle bracelet
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    Politician suspected of taking money in exchange for visas released with ankle bracelet

    © Belga
    Kucam has been in prison for eight months since he was arrested in January.
    © Belga

    The suspended city council member Melikan Kucam (N-VA), who is suspected of tampering with humanitarian visas, will be released with an electronic monitoring device.

    Kucam is suspected of human trafficking, passive bribery, extortion, and membership of a criminal organisation, and has been in prison for eight months since he was arrested in January.

    An episode of the VRT documentary programme Pano showed that Kucam had asked for money from Syrian Christians.

    As a confidant, Kucam could submit lists of names that were to receive a humanitarian visa to the cabinet of the former Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken (N-VA).

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    Kucam can prison with an electronic monitoring system, but he will remain detained. He will not be living with his wife, as the judge issued a restraining order.

    “He will be staying with his parents,” said Walter Damen, his lawyer, reports VRT NWS. “He feels relieved. Like every person in prison, he is happy to get out of his cell. He will be really happy to see his parents again after eight and a half months. This is the first step. Next step is a full release,” he added.

    Kucam’s wife and son are also suspects in the same case. His son was released on parole in March, his wife in September.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times