The Tongeren prosecutor is demanding 15 months in prison for an Afghan man who became involved in a fight at the station in Genk. On Christmas Day 2021, things got out of hand between a group of Afghan youth and a group of Turkish youth, most of whom were minors. “Two Turkish boys were stabbed and beaten with chains.”
On December 25, 2021, a major fight broke out at the station in Genk. A group of Afghan youth, who took the bus to Genk, competed against a group of Turkish youth. According to the Tongeren public prosecutor, this involved 19 people in total, most of whom were minors. “We saw on camera footage how the two groups gathered and armed,” the prosecutor said.
Knives were taken and chains were brandished. Fire bombs were also said to have been thrown. After the fight, officers found two injured Turkish men, one of whom had received a knife in the leg and the second had stab wounds to his ribs.
Danger to life
Ultimately, the Afghan adult defendant was recognized on camera images. He was later found with blood on his sweatshirt and hands. “He was at the front of the group, he was the instigator,” said the Tongeren prosecutor, who is demanding a prison sentence of 15 months and a fine of 800 euros.
The lawyer of one of the injured Turkish youths states that her client wanted to meet some friends in Genk, when the boys suddenly collided with the group of Afghans. “They deliberately drove by bus from the asylum center in Lanaken to Genk to fight. My client was stabbed with a knife and his life was initially in danger. These are very serious facts. My client never had the intention to fight,” he said.
The lawyer for the Afghan defendant came up with a different story and talks about incitement. According to him, the group of Afghans was challenged and a feud with the Turkish youth had been going on for some time. “Those Turkish young people act as if they knew nothing, but on the bus one of the Afghans was called by the civil party with the message that they had to come to the station to teach them a lesson. Telephone research also shows that the civil party sent messages in which he indicated that he would take a knife with him. Camera images show how those Turkish young people had firebombs with them.” He also points out that there is little evidence for his client. “There is no evidence on camera footage that he attacked or hit any of those young people. No DNA from him was found on the knives or chains. The blood on his sweater came from his own head wound, but that was also never investigated,” he said. He asks for an acquittal.
Judgment will follow on December 8.