Brussels inmate mistakenly released from prison on Christmas Eve

Brussels inmate mistakenly released from prison on Christmas Eve
The inmate, who has since been recaptured, was released after prison staff misinterpreted a court decision. © Belga

An inmate who was accidentally released from a Brussels prison due to an "interpretation mistake" regarding a court document has been found and reincarcerated.

The inmate was allowed to walk free on 24 December, after prison staff drew the wrong conclusions from a ruling delivered by the Brussels Court of Appeals.

The court had delivered a ruling indicating that the prisoner's appeal to his sentence, delivered in absentia, was acceptable.

Prison staff mistakenly interpreted the ruling as an implication that the inmate could be released, a reasoning that was the result of an "interpretation error," a spokesperson for Belgium's penitentiary administration told Le Soir.

Held in the Prison of Saint-Gilles, located in southern Brussels, the inmate had been sentenced to 40 months in prison for pickpocketing.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson with Brussels general prosecutor said that the inmate had been located and reincarcerated and that he was set to appear before the Court of Appeal.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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