The general prosecutor’s office in Hainaut, in charge of the ‘Kazakhgate case’ for the past three years, is sticking to its decision that there were no grounds for initiating a prosecution against either senior judge Jean-François Godbille or Princess Léa of Belgium, who is Prince Alexandre’s widow and Albert II’s daughter-in-law, La Dernière Heure reports.
According to the director of public prosecutions Ignacio de la Serna, the criminal proceedings are at an end and his office considers there are no grounds for prosecuting either Princess Léa or attorney general Godbille at this stage. “We’re tending towards dismissal for both.”
As for the late former Senate president, mayor of Uccle and corporate lawyer Armand De Decker, the attorney general is saying the case concerning him was not heading in the same dismissal direction.
At the beginning of 2017, it was revealed that the attorney general to the Court of Appeal in Brussels, Jean-François Godbille, had received 25,000 euro from Princess Léa’s foundation, the Prince and Princess Alexandre of Belgium Mutual Assistance Fund.
According to the princess, it was Armand De Decker who had invited her to make the donation to the scouting NPO whom Godbille was involved in.
The question was whether Armand De Decker had not wanted to thank the senior judge in this way for having spoken through a third party to the Minister of Justice, Stefaan De Clerck, in favour of his client, billionaire Kazakh Patokh Chodiev.
Both Princess Lea and Godbille denied the charge, but in June 2017, the Court of Appeal considered it “had enough solid evidence to try to bring a case against Godbille for helping De Decker to try to influence Belgium’s Minister of Justice Stefaan De Clerck.”
As the proceedings are now being closed, it is up to the Hainaut public prosecutor’s office to prepare the investigative report, which must then be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The final decision will be taken by the Court of Appeal.