The 33 year old Algerian responsible for the machete attack against 2 police officers in Charleroi on Saturday was staying in Belgium illegally. He ignored two demands to leave the country, according to a press release published on Sunday. The press release was from the cabinet of the State Secretary for Asylum and immigration, Theo Francken.
“The government is beating all the records regarding deporting foreign criminals, and I am determined to continue down this road”, said Mr Francken. “The government has already taken a series of measures to speed up the deportation of criminals. We have to continue with that”.
“Forced deportations to Algeria remain problematic, despite years of European and bilateral negotiations. Although we have a deal with Morocco, we need another with Algeria, preferably under European mandate”, he added. “I will go to the next kern with a number of supplementary measures, which would increase forced deportations of illegals. Although we have already increased capacity in detention centres, we are still dealing with a lack of space. We need to sort that out.”
During a press conference at the Charleroi police station on Sunday, Prime Minister Charles Michel said that “the fight against illegal criminals is primordial” and “totally necessary”.
Belgium has “hugely increased deportations of illegal criminals. We are trying to negotiate with their home countries to organise these deportations, but it is not easy. Many countries are hesitant”, he said.
Paul Magnette, mayor of Charleroi, said that “communal authorities have also worked closely with the government” on this.