Belgian authorities are facing questions over why a prison inmate, suspected of links to radical Islamists in jail, was let out for a day, enabling him to carry out what police called a “terrorist attack” in the city of Liege.
The justice minister, who oversees the prison service, said he felt “responsible” for Tuesday’s bloodshed in which two policewomen and a bystander were killed. The attacker was shot dead by police at a nearby school shortly afterward.
“The question of whether this man should have been given leave is striking because he killed three completely innocent people with a wish to kill himself,” Koen Geens told RTBF radio.
“I have to examine my own conscience.”
Interior Minister Jan Jambon said authorities were still examining the motives of Benjamin Herman, a 31-year-old Belgian drug dealer who had been in jail for years but was let out for two days on Monday to prepare for an eventual release in 2020.
But hey at least they reduced their prison population!