Posted Jun 03, 2010 07:06 pm CDT
A magistrate judge and a court clerk were shot to death today in Belgium as they were in a courtroom working on a civil case near the Palais de Justice in Brussels.
It is the first time in the country’s history that a magistrate has been killed in a courtroom, according to Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck. However, a lawyer who works at the court says tension and violence have been on the rise there for some time, reports the BBC News.
“He was present at the outset of the hearing,” says Jean-Marc Meilleur of the prosecutor’s office in Brussels concerning the suspect, who is still being sought. “Toward the end of the session, he pulled a gun. Shots were fired, after which the killer fled.”
These seemingly case-related slayings today follow 12 others yesterday in various spots in an off-the-beaten-track area of England that reportedly may have been sparked by a will dispute between twin brothers, one of whom was killed along with the family’s solicitor. Meanwhile, two judges and a court clerk in China were slain on Tuesday as the jurists were discussing a case. Their assailant, who reportedly was unhappy about his divorce settlement several years earlier—which was overseen by an entirely different court—subsequently committed suicide.
All the victims were shot to death in countries in which gun violence in any setting is rare.
Earlier ABAJournal.com coverage: