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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 19:14 GMT 20:14 UK
Belgium MP3 murder suspect held
A photo of Joe Van Holsbeeck in a tribute at his school
Joe Van Holsbeeck was stabbed five times in the chest
Police in Belgium have arrested a suspect in the murder of a teenager who refused to give thieves his MP3 player.

Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17, was stabbed at Brussels central station on 12 April during the evening rush-hour.

A Polish-born youth, 16, has been taken into custody but police believe a second youth has fled to Poland.

Initial reports that the suspects were of north African origin had threatened to destabilise community relations, with Muslim leaders calling for calm.


When media said CCTV footage had suggested the killers were north African, Muslim religious leaders in Brussels called on people not to shield the suspects if they knew them.

But the news that the suspects were of Polish origin prompted outrage from the Muslim community and criticism from the federal justice minister.

"For some days, some people without knowledge of the results of the investigation had pinpointed a culprit, stigmatised an ethnic community. Now they have to face their own conscience," Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx said.

Joe Van Holsbeeck was with a friend at the station when he was stabbed five times in the chest after refusing to hand over his digital music player.

On Sunday about 80,000 people, including the victim's family, took part in a silent march in Brussels to protest over the murder.

Country profile: Belgium
26 Mar 06 |  Country profiles


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