The Federal Prosecutor’s Office regrets that victims of the Brussels attacks which took place on 22 March 2016, and their families, have learned of the theft of medical and autopsy reports through the press.
Eric Van Duyse, the spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, indicated, “We would have liked to have informed [the victims] first, but the media concerned did not ask the question.” The theft has no consequences for the investigation into the attacks.
Last Thursday, a man stole a hard disk from the office of a forensic medical examiner located on the ground floor of the Le Portalis building, which houses the Brussels Public Prosecutor. The disk, in particular, contained autopsy reports for victims of the Brussels attacks. A suspect, aged 27, was questioned and a warrant issued for his arrest. Although the individual denies all involvement in the theft, he will now have to appear in court either on Wednesday or tomorrow.
Mr Van Duyse explained, “We have a section which specifically deals with victims and always tries to do its utmost to inform such victims in time. He went on, “In this case, we had requested that the given media waited 24 hours before disseminating the information, so as to give us time to personally warn the victims. Our wish was not respected and we regret that this is the case.”
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office further states that the hard disk theft will have no consequence for the investigation into the actual attacks, as a paper version of the autopsy reports is attached to the relevant files.