Five suspects were placed under arrest warrant in the investigation into an alleged gang rape in the Brussels region. The images of the facts were broadcast in early November on social networks. Following their research, our journalists learned that one of the suspects was molested. The assault on the individual was also broadcast on the internet.
On the video of the assault shared on the internet, we see an assaulted man. He is identified as one of Forest’s alleged gang rape suspects. Following calls made on social networks by members of the Congolese community, he was brutally arrested by individuals and forced to surrender to the police.
“There were punitive expeditions on the part of people who knew the victim, who were there, and who wanted to settle their scores. They feel that these people had a feeling of impunity. That they could act that way without being held accountable to anyone or being punished“, says Eddy Kiaku, a lawyer.
The assault hinders the investigation
The alleged gang rape that occurred in early November was all the more indignant as it was broadcast on social networks, and the girl was under the influence of a drug.
Assault on one of the suspects constitutes an offense and obstructs the investigation. “From the moment when the police, at the same time, try to carry out their investigation, it is obvious that disseminating in public information which can be used for the investigation, but which on the other hand can also be useful for delinquents, obviously that hinders police work“, reacts Frank Discepoli, criminal lawyer and assistant in criminal law and criminal procedure at the ULB.
(If) this drug influence interferes with his ability to be able to give consent, well there will be no consent
Recall that some suspects have said publicly that the victim was consenting. We interviewed Frank Discepoli on this issue. “A person who is under the influence of drugs, and that drug influence interferes with his ability to be able to give consent, well there will be no consent. Even if the person himself has put himself in this state“, explains the criminal lawyer.
At present, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office has not given any additional information in relation to the five suspects placed under arrest warrant.