A former Anderlecht football team manager faces two weeks in a Brussels holding cell despite his lawyer appealing a court decision to deny him bail.
Herman Van Holsbeeck was arrested last week on suspicions relating to a 2019 money-laundering and fraud case focused on transfers out of the Brussels football club. This included the 2015 move to Newcastle United of Serbian striker Alexander Mitrovic, now with Fulham.
Preliminary judges ruled that Van Holsbeeck be detained for a month to enable prosecutors to refresh their case, the investigating magistrate arguing that bail would facilitate collusion among wider suspects.
Belgian investigating magistrates hold far-reaching powers and, not unlike under the US grand jury system, the judicial clearing house known as the ‘Chambre de Conseil’ that issued Monday’s ruling invariably grants Crown Prosecutor demands.
“We cannot tolerate someone being sent to prison on the grounds of supposed ‘new elements’, when the facts of the case have already been known for years,” Van Holsbeeck’s lawyers said in a statement.
After filing an instant appeal, the criminal courts must open the case within two weeks or release the suspect, Belga News Agency reported Tuesday.