Antwerp’s Court of Appeals will hand out on Friday the ruling for the 18 members of student club Reuzegom on trial for the death of 20-year-old Sanda Dia in a student hazing ritual gone wrong.
Dia died in December 2018 of hypothermia and organ failure after being forced to drink large amounts of alcohol and fish oil during the Reuzegom ritual.
While the prosecution is calling for 18 to 50-month prison sentences, the defendants’ lawyers are calling for leniency and claim that the students did not know that the fish oil would be lethal for the 20-year-old.
Various messages showed that the Reuzegom members also made racist jokes towards Dia.
The initial trial took place last year but was put on hold because the defendants would not admit who made Dia drink the fish sauce.
The judge proposed charging them with assault and battery, which Dia’s family disagreed with. The trial resumed later that year and is now reaching its conclusion.
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Antwerp’s Court of Appeals will now decide whether the Correctional Court of Hasselt can handle the case. It will then rule if the 18 members are guilty of manslaughter.
If found guilty, the court of appeals will decide on the appropriate punishment, which could go from community service to a multiple-year prison sentence.