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    Bruges mayor leaves hospital after knife attack

    Bruges mayor Dirk De fauw © Belga

    The man accused of a knife attack on Bruges mayor Dirk De fauw was interviewed by police on Sunday and refused to give an explanation for the attack. The man remains in detention on a charge of attempted murder.

    Meanwhile De fauw has been discharged from hospital in Bruges to recover from the attack, which left him with a wound 14cm long requiring 24 stitches.

    The attack took place in the mayor’s law office, and the suspect is a long-standing client who has suffered psychological problems. De fauw was an executor of the man’s property.

    The attack was carried out with a paring knife, which may have saved the mayor’s life.

    I was lucky it was only a paring knife,” he told the VRT from his hospital bed.

    If it had been a bigger knife, I probably wouldn’t be here speaking to you. Last night I saw the images [of the scene] in my mind, and I thought how much worse it could have been.”

    The motive for the attack is not clear. The suspect was arrested on Saturday and questioned today, but refused to give any statement. He remains in custody and will appear in court on Friday.

    Given the gravity of the attack, and the apparent intent to cut the mayor’s throat that was only thwarted by the choice of weapon, he has been charged with attempted murder. Further investigation will determine if that remains the charge he faces.

    In fact, De fauw explained, he had not originally realised how serious his injuries were. He did not call for an ambulance, but asked his official driver to take him to hospital.

    I gave a description of the perpetrator to the police on the phone myself. The whole time I pinched the wound with my hand and my tie. It was only when I arrived at the hospital that I saw the pool of blood that was on the seat of the car.”

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times