The murder of a Belgian city mayor whose throat was slit in a cemetery on Monday has shocked the country.
The body of Alfred Gadenne was found by his wife. He was murdered on Monday night in Mouscron shortly before 8 pm at the entrance to the Luingne cemetery. He was found murdered close to his home at the graveyard where he acted as caretaker and locked the gates each night.
The body of Gadenne was autopsied during the night in Mons. He had been transferred to a hospital in Mons, where an autopsy of the body was carried out during the night.
“This is a forensic examination, which lasted an hour, and for the rest, the suspect who was arrested last night in Luingne Cemetery must be heard this morning by the police Mouscron,” the police said.
Local news service SudInfo said a suspect had handed himself in to police and that the motive was unclear. According to NoTele, the suspect is a young man of 18 years. The police had received an anonymous tip-off.
The case was handed to a local prosecutor rather than to national counter-terrorism investigators, because the motive was “vengeance” authorities say. But they would not release his name.
Similar in size to Verviers, Mouscron also has a large Muslim community, In 2015 Alfred Gadenne told the media: “We have never had any problems with the Muslims here who are very respectful of authority”. He said across the border in France with the arrest of a 20-year-old Roubaisian convicted of terrorism, there were many more problems.
“I would not like to be in the place of my colleague of Verviers”, Gadenne confided to media after the death of the two jihadist suspects in French towns near his own.
The country’s prime minister expressed “horror” at the death. Citing the public prosecutor, Belgian media said Gadenne, 71, was the conservative mayor of an industrial town of 57 000 people just across the border from the French city of Lille.
Philippe Courard, president of the parliament for Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia, tweeted: “Terrifying. What kind of world are we living in?”
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