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Enquiries opened into Porte de Hal shooting

The tunnel under the Porte de Hal © Belga

The Brussels prosecutor’s office has opened two enquiries into an incident at the Porte de Hal tunnel on the night of Friday to Saturday in which police used their firearms.

The incident occurred when a car containing four men was stopped for a documents check at around 02.30. The driver at one point attempted to escape, leading to a pursuit in which one police officer discharged his firearm.

No-one was injured. The car was brought to a halt on the boulevard by Midi station, and four men were taken into custody, but only the driver himself was detained. The others were released after being questioned.

The first enquiry concerns an allegation that the driver deliberately attempted to aim his car at a police officer – an allegation that would if proven justify the police actions thereafter – the subject of the second enquiry.

The prosecutor’s office has filed a formal charge of attempted murder, which may be reduced depending on the evidence that comes to light. He also faces a lesser charge of malicious obstruction of traffic.

The second enquiry will determine whether the use of firearms was justified under the strict rules of engagement applied to police officers.

The tunnel under the Porte de Hal was closed for a time in the direction of Midi station to allow the gathering of evidence, until re-opening at around 11.30 on Saturday morning.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times