Man who stabbed ex-wife to death outside divorce court walks free
Share article:
Share article:

Man who stabbed ex-wife to death outside divorce court walks free

The court let the defendant walks free. © Belga

A 71-year-old man who stabbed his newly divorced ex-wife outside the courthouse in Veurne in 2018 has walked free after being found guilty of culpable homicide.

Mohamed Koukouh had just left the court in Veurne in West Flanders after the conclusion of his divorce from Rita Waeles (60). In the car park of the courthouse, the two got into an argument about money, and Koukouh pulled an awl – a pointed tool usually used in sewing leather or canvas – and stabbed her once.

More than two years later, the trial jury returned a verdict of guilty of culpable homicide, and not the original charge of murder. The lesser charge, his lawyer explained, means the jury found he had not acted with malice aforethought.

He never intended to kill her. So it was not premeditated, but on a whim when he learned that after their divorce his wife was not going to keep the agreements about the money,” lawyer Kris Vincke told the VRT.

He also didn’t aim at the heart region with the awl, it was rather a coincidence that he hit her there,” he said.

The court in its finding dismissed the evidence of Koukouh’s own son Jamal, who had testified that his father had indeed expressed vengeful emotions prior to the killing.

“I know I won’t please my father by saying that, but it’s the truth,” he told investigators. “And telling the truth is the only thing I can do for my mother,” he said.

After the jury delivered its verdict, the court sentenced Koukouh to five years in prison. A murder conviction would have attracted a sentence of up to 30 years.

However taking into account the tariff for early release, and the time he has already spent in prison since being arrested in March 2018, Koukouh was able to walk free from the court.

He can now return to the village of Lo-Reninge, from where a stream of neighbours had told the court how friendly and peaceable he is, and where the husband of the sister of his victim is now prepared to take him in.

This is a man that nobody has a bad word for,” said Vincke. “We are very happy that justice has been done.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...
European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...