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Ghent Council Chamber has to postpone Shield & Friends file again after an administrative error

Ghent Council Chamber has to postpone Shield & Friends file again after an administrative error

On Monday afternoon, the Council Chamber in Ghent was forced to adjourn the Schild and Freinden case, as the East Flemish Public Prosecutor’s Office requested the referral of founder Dries van Langenhof and other people connected to the group, following an administrative error. Three suspects were erroneously called as injured parties, causing the case to be adjourned to June 20.

The adjournment is the latest part of the judicial fragmentation cycle in the Schild & Vrienden case. The Public Prosecutor’s Office in East Flanders has launched a criminal investigation as a result of the case panoramaReport on September 5, 2018. It showed that racist and anti-Semitic messages were exchanged in secret chat groups of Schild & Vrienden. In June 2019, Dries Van Langenhove was officially charged. The founder of Schild & Vrienden was released under certain circumstances and had to, among other things, follow up with a guided visit to the Dossin barracks in Mechelen.

Van Langenhove looks to sue (and asks for money)

A plenary session of the lower house of parliament lifted parliamentary immunity in March 2021. Van Langenhof himself has long denied the allegations and says he hopes there will be no prosecution in the file surrounding Schild and Frenden.

The Ghent Council Chamber must decide whether Dries van Langenhof and the other suspects should respond to the criminal court, but Van Langenhof’s defense petitioned for additional investigations at the first hearing a year ago. The petition followed a decision by investigating judge for the anime Sirlebens to withdraw after Van Langenhof’s appeal, who said Sirlebens was biased.

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