‘No words’: driver convicted for death of 12-year-old cyclist granted conditional release
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    ‘No words’: driver convicted for death of 12-year-old cyclist granted conditional release

    © Belga

    The parents of a 12-year-old girl killed in a car accident said they have “no words” after the driver convicted for the fatal collision was granted conditional freedom by a Brussels court.

    The Brussels correctional court agreed to conditionally release 23-year-old Muhammed Aytekin, convicted to five years effective prison and fined €6,000 for a 2015 collision in which 12-year-old Merel De Prins was killed.

    “I have no words for this, five years in prison is five years, I cannot understand this decision,” the victim’s mother said, according to De Standaard.

    De Prins was riding a bike on a cycling lane when she was hit by a BMW, with the driver immediately taking off after the collision, 7sur7 reports.

    She was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, from which he died in the course of the evening.

    The investigation into the accident, which took place in Vilvoorde, showed that Aytekin was under a driving ban at the time of the collision, HLN reports.

    The driving ban had been handed to him just ahead of the accident for being the registered owner of a vehicle which was being driven without insurance, but his lawyers later disproved the ownership to the court.

    After the deadly accident, Aytekin reportedly fled the country but ultimately turned himself in and was convicted in 2016.

    The court on Monday established that the evidence provided by Aytekin’s legal team disproving ownership of the car meant he had not violated the conditions imposed on him after he was pulled over.

    It also said that due to a “low risk of recidivism,” Aytekin could be released on a number of conditions, including that he finds steady employment and follows “appropriate” psychosocial counselling.

    He was also ordered to compensate his victims and to have no contact with them.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times