The man accused of stabbing the 30-year-old athlete Fanny Appes on board a train at Linkebeek station a week ago has been arrested by police in France.
The suspect is Appes’ former partner. She has accused him of harassment and intimidation, and posted a video on Facebook which appears to show him driving his car at her in the street.
The train was travelling from Nivelles to Antwerp when it stopped at Linkebeek station. Appes was stabbed once in the back and the man got off the train and ran away.
Appes (pictured) was treated in hospital and was released later in the day.
Afterwards, she told how she had made several complaints to police at Braine l’Alleud and Nivelles, where she lives, but that nothing appeared to have been done about the threat.
The man who was arrested has been named only as Xavier B. According to reports, the case was picked up after the stabbing by the serious crimes squad of the judicial police in Brussels. They started tracking B. immediately after the attack.
He was arrested in France, the prosecutor’s office of Halle-Vilvoorde confirmed, without further details.
Appes responded on being informed of the arrest, “Today I’m more decided than ever to be done with all this, to help myself get better and to escape from this bubble I’ve been living in for months, and which was killing me slowly,” she said.
“I’m free to move around. I can go outside and sleep soundly, without worrying about him coming for me. I’m feeling good about him no longer being around, that’s a major step.”
Prior to his arrest, he had posted a photo on his Facebook page showing himself with the caption, “The sun is shining here. Makes a change from Belgium,” suggesting he had fled the country. That boasting may in the end have contributed to his arrest.
On being transferred to Belgium by the French authorities, he faces a possible charge of attempted murder.