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Belgian boxer Farid Hakimi sentenced to 17 years in prison

© Belga

Former professional Belgian boxer Farid Hakimi, who once fought for a WBA lightweight title, was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Friday for a series of violent home invasions that took place between 2015 and 2017 in Belgium.

The trial has received much attention, as it followed the arrest of Stéphane Pauwels, a well-known TV presenter and football pundit on RTL, also implicated with the criminal group Hakimi was leading.

Stéphane Pauwels

Pauwels was arrested in 2018 and was considered to be involved with the gang.

The famous TV presenter received a 30-month suspended prison sentence for the involvement in the armed and violent home invasion of a house in Lasne in 2017. The house belonged to Frederic G. an ex-boyfriend of Pauwel’s partner Vanessa Colassin.

Hakimi is believed to have been the leader of the gang, which was active in the Hainaut and Wallon Brabant regions.

“I have done some stupid things that are very serious, and I’m here to take responsibility,” Hakimi told RTL following the verdict, adding that he is “conscious of his errors.”

Eighteen other members also stood trial, receiving various lengths of prison sentences.

The Brussels Times