On Wednesday, the Brussels Court of Appeals heard the closing argument presented by Attorney General Michel Nolet de Brauwere and sentenced former Belgian ambassador to Paris, Pierre-Dominique Schmidt, to a two-year suspended sentence for forgery and fraud. At trial, in May 2013, the defendant benefited from a delay in sentencing.The Court agreed with all aspects of the closing arguments made by the Attorney General and acknowledged the major claims made against Pierre-Dominique Schmidt. He was acquitted on one of the fraud charges, for which the Attorney General had already requested an acquittal.
The court which heard the case proved to be more severe than the one which heard the case in May 2013. The court sentenced Pierre-Dominique Schmidt to two years in prison and a five year suspended sentence, a fine of 11,000 euros and barred him from benefiting from any civil and political benefits for the next ten years.
The former diplomat was also banned from public service for ten years.
Pierre-Dominique Schmidt, aged 56, was the former Belgian ambassador to Paris. He was charged with committing forgery in order to defraud the Fortis bank. He also wrongly obtained lines of credit worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to which he normally would not have access to.
The funds he acquired were used to finance lavish parties at the embassy in Paris.
Lorraine Torry (Source: Belga)