A man who took to Facebook to post a message deemed insulting by police after an officer was shot and critically injured is facing up to one year in prison.
Prosecutors requested the maximal penalty for an unidentified man, aged 29, who stands accused of calumny for writing “a good cop is a dead cop” and “murderers who are killed, it doesn’t shock me” on Facebook.
The man’s message, deemed “unacceptable” by prosecutors, was posted following reports, which were later disproved, that a Liège officer had been killed during a shootout at the start of September.
The officer, 33-year-old Maxime Pans, had been shot in the head during a routine police check, in an incident which left the assailant dead.
Appearing before a Brussels court on Tuesday in a hearing which was largely attended by Liège police, the man said that he regretted his statements, according to reports by RTBF.
“I do not want anyone to die, sometimes I disagree with some things, but I don’t rejoice in someone’s death. I apologise to all police forces,” the man said.
The accused’s defence argued for their client’s acquittal, saying that a correctional court was not competent to rule on their client’s case, which they said should be treated like a press crime.
The Brussels correctional court is expected to deliver its ruling on 15 November.
The Brussels Times